Report from STIM’s Annual General Meeting 2021
“Our main focus in 2020 was to soften the pandemic’s financial blow to our members. We made fast royalty payments a top priority, and also implemented more targeted initiatives. When most of the venues where people see live music were closed down, we initiated the most extensive advance payment scheme in Stim’s history. In addition, we supplied a large number of extra grants to support our members in their time of crisis,” says Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen, Stim’s CEO.
Stim’s earnings declined dramatically in 2020, from SEK 2,4 bn. to 1,9 bn. Most of the decline was caused by the pandemic, but the large, retroactive foreign revenue of 2019 was a contributing factor too. The payments increased from SEK 1,8 bn. to 2 bn., a result of Stim’s efforts to continuously improve the efficiency of the payment process.
In 2020, Stim put a lot of energy into simplifying procedures for its members and customers. One such tool is a new mobile phone app that helps music creators keep track of their music revenues at a glance. Another new feature is the web shop, where customers can sign up for licenses.
When it became clear how hard the pandemic would hit Stim’s members, the organisation immediately set aside SEK 3 m. for 300 new grants. A total of SEK 7,1 m. were awarded to 439 members. The number of songwriters and composers that applied for Stim’s grants grew by 49 per cent in 2020 – further proof of the music industry’s deep crisis.
On a lighter note, 3,199 new music makers and publishers chose to join Stim in 2020. The number of STIM members has reached over 95,000, which is more than ever before in the organization’s near 100-year history. We also saw a record increase in the number of members with voting rights, by over 10 % compared to the year before. New members also accounted for about one tenth of those participating in the meeting.
Focus on musical diversity
The digital meeting kicked off this year with the STIM Musical Diversity webinar, part of our work in developing the music promotion business. The panel discussion, around the central question, "What does musical diversity mean for STIM?" was led by author Qaisar Mahmood, together with representatives from the rights holders' associations; Ayesha Quraishi (SKAP), Erik Peters (FST) and Gunnar Helgesson (Musikförläggarna).
During the meeting, STIM chairman Carina Brorman also reported on how STIM is continuing work on developing the business of music promotion. The aim of this work, that has been ongoing since right back in 1925, is to promote musical diversity and copyright.
To help make the most of rights holders' money, over the past year, STIM has been working on a clearer strategy, involving better communication and the prioritizing of members, as well as improving the cooperation between all the various people involved in STIM.
As part of this process, a key decision was made on the definition of the so-called Stimsfären and who should be included in it. Closer cooperation between STIM and the rights holders’ associations FST, Skap and Musikförläggarna will act as an important basis for future development.
Both the webinar and the meeting were broadcast live this year from the Stim Music Room, an initiative that won an award in 2020 for “Design of the Year for a Service,” at Design S – the Swedish Design Awards. We’re pleased to say that despite the pandemic, for most of 2020 we managed to keep open the popular meeting place that, among other things, houses a fully equipped music studio.
This AGM was also the last for STIM CEO Karsten Dyrhberg Nielsen, who leaves his position after seven years at STIM. During the recruitment process, Peter Lindström, Director Members & Markets, steps in as acting CEO and Jan-Christer Stoppel, CFO, as Deputy CEO.
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