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French Rights Society SACEM Anticipates 25% Drop in 2020 Collections

Much like the rest of the music industry, French rights society SACEM is staring down a 25% dip in their 2020 collections as a result of lockdown. Here CEO Jean-Noël Tronc outlines their plan for recovery and adaptation moving forward.

Guest post by Emmanuel Legrand of Legrand Network

French rights society SACEM is anticipating a 25% drop in collections in 2020, according to CEO Jean-Noël Tronc (pictured, below), speaking after the performance rights society’s Annual General Meeting. Tronc said that while 2019 was marked by a new record in terms of collection and distribution of royalties, 2020 will be “the worst year in our history with an estimated average drop in our revenues of around 25% with much higher loss levels for certain categories of collections, particularly for general rights.” 

In such a context, the management of SACEM has proposed to the AGM to adopt an exceptional modification to the statutes of the society by authorising a deficit higher than the 5% allowed by the statutes of SACEM. The anticipated losses “will mechanically lead to a very significant fall in the funding of the company” since this funding is provided mainly by an administrative fees on royalties collected. 
  Since SACEM is a non-profit company, it does not have the right to make savings or profit. As a result, members approved a waiver on deficit for the year 2020 in order to avoid having to increase admin fees.

A two-year recovery plan

Tronc said SACEM has also put measures in place to mitigate the impact of the crisis, but said the society will need to “undertake for at least the next two years a recovery plan, which will necessarily be gradual.”
  Said Tronc: “All the efforts made since 2012 have resulted in a very significant improvement in SACEM’s operational performance. It is on the strength of this assessment that we are going to go through this crisis of unprecedented violence, through a global action plan already under way, notably with our emergency measures plan for our members and our economy plan for 2020. This crisis illustrates more than ever the vital importance of the collective management model in defending the rights of authors, composers and music publishers.”

Adapt to the times

During the annual meeting, SACEM members renewed a third of its Board of Directors. The 20 board members are elected by their peers (authors, composers and publishers) for three years (one year for authors-filmmakers), a third of which are renewed each year. Joining the board are music publishers Thierry Perrier (Passport Songs Music) and Caroline Molko (Warner Chappell), authors Frédérique Alie and Brice Homs, songwriters/composers Wally Badarou and Dominique Dalcan, and author-filmmaker Anne Dorr. The Chair of the Board is chosen by the new Board of Directors for a renewable term of one year. The Board chose to re-elected Bruno Lion as President, who already served a one-year mandate. Lion is MD of peermusic France.

SACEM board members

  The General Meeting has also approvedthe decision of the Board of Directors to grant exceptional advances to any SACEM member who generated more than €2,700 in royalties in 2019. These exceptional advances will be repayable over five years from January 2022.
  “The decisions of the General Assembly confirm both our constant desire to adapt to our times and our ability to react to the crisis,” said Lion. “What SACEM is today is a force for authors, composers and music publishers as the main impact of the lockdown still remains to come.”

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