Royalty payments made by PRS for Music stood firm in 2020, with a record £700m distributed to 155,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.
The £13m increase in payouts was achieved despite revenues having shrunk by £160m - almost 20% - compared with 2019. The mismatch was due to the royalties paid having been collected before the first lockdown.
PRS is warning of difficulties to come. The sharp decline in income last year will be reflected in distributions to music creators through 2021 and beyond, with returns expected to fall by at least 10%.
With the majority of live music events cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19, revenues generated from live performances declined most, falling by almost 80% from £54m in 2019 to just £11m in 2020.
Public performance revenue, which includes music used in business premises, shops, cinemas, pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants, fell by over 60% (£136m), again due to business closure.
Revenue generated from music played online was the only area that grew in 2020, rising by 5% to £188m.