activity report 2020
Activity report 2020: A new look at tomorrow (summary)
augustus 5, 2021

Lower authors’ rights revenues due to strict measures against coronavirus

In 2020, revenues from authors’ rights represented approximately 126 million euros, compared to 156 million euros in 2019. This represents a decrease of no less than 30 million euros.

In the year in which the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed the world, the income stream of Sabam clearly took a huge hit (-19%). The reasons are obvious: events, parties, concerts and theatre performances were cancelled en masse. And an entire festival season was suddenly ruined.

Immediate consequences for theatre

The theatre world is already experiencing a major impact as a result of the measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because authors’ rights revenues in this sector are distributed per performance. The immediate consequence: a 37% drop in revenue for theatre authors.

For the other sectors - music, audiovisual works, visual arts and literature - the effects will only really become visible in 2021. This is because authors’ rights revenues there are generally distributed the following year.

This also explains why, in the year the pandemic broke out, Sabam managed to distribute 112 million euros in authors’ rights revenues to its authors, some 2 million euros more than in 2019. In this respect, the association’s 43,000 shareholders still enjoyed the good results of the past this year.

Future does not look bright

Expectations for the near future are not so bright. Looking at the absolute figures, Sabam expects that the distribution of authors’ rights revenues to music and theatre authors will be hit the hardest by the crisis, both in 2021 and 2022.

Discover the English summary of our activity report 2020, which covers:

  • Our key figures
  • Distributed rights
  • Invoiced rights
  • Sabam for Culture
  • Our members
  • Users of our repertoire
  • Our staff

Or read our full activity report 2020 in French or Dutch.


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