SUISA Group year-end result: strong growth in the online sector

In the past year, SUISA achieved revenue of CHF 150.8 million from the utilisation of copyrights in Switzerland and abroad. Revenues from the online sector in particular contributed to this great result. Together with the subsidiary SUISA Digital Licensing AG, SUISA hit CHF 10.1 million in this sector, which is 22% more than the previous year. The good result benefits composers, lyricists and publishers of music as they will receive CHF 132.2 million this year.

Zurich, 4 June 2019 – SUISA’s total turnover last year was CHF 160.8 million, including secondary income and income from its subsidiary SUISA Digital Licensing. This represents an improvement of CHF 2 million on the previous year’s result. Composers, lyricists and publishers of music profit from this positive result as SUISA is distributing CHF 132.2 million – CHF 0.8 million more than the previous year.

SUISA is releasing consolidated figures this year for the first time. In addition to the financials for the SUISA cooperative, this also includes financials for the subsidiary SUISA Digital Licensing AG, which is a joint venture with the US music rights organisation SESAC formed in 2017 as part of the Mint Digital Services project. SUISA Digital Licensing is responsible for the cross-border licensing of music in the online sector.

Strong growth in the online sector
Revenues from the online sector increased markedly. SUISA and SUISA Digital Licensing generated CHF 10.1 million for online music rights last year, representing growth of 22% in comparison with the previous year. This year, SUISA expects higher revenues from online business again as SUISA Digital Licensing managed to successfully conclude contract negotiations with several online music providers last year.

In 2017, revenues from the online business were higher than revenues from the production of hard copies for the first time. The downward trend in mechanical rights that we’ve seen in recent years continued in 2018. Income totalled CHF 6.2 million, which is 4.6% less than 2017 (CHF 6.5 million).

Slight decline in broadcast and performance rights
The majority of domestic revenues continues to stem from broadcast and performance rights, which together make up almost 80% of revenues. Income in 2018 was lower than the previous year in both areas, although they remain at a high level. SUISA took CHF 65.7 million in broadcast rights last year, which is 1.5% less than in the previous year (CHF 66.7 million). Performance rights revenues fell by 5.8% and totalled CHF 44.2 million last year (2017: CHF 46.9 million). 

At CHF 14.7 million, fair compensation revenues also increased last year. This is an increase of 31% in comparison with the previous year. Remuneration from abroad also increased (+19%) and totalled CHF 12.9 million last year (2017: CHF 10.8 million). 

CHF 88 out of CHF 100 goes to authors and publishers
SUISA’s administrative cost ratio fell slightly last year, from 12.41% to 12.34%. This means that for every CHF 100 that SUISA collects from copyright, around CHF 88 goes to authors and publishers of music.

“The great result last year is a good thing for people working in the music industry. They are also receiving more money from SUISA again this year,” says Andreas Wegelin, CEO of SUISA. “Because of streaming, there’s never been more music consumed than there is today. That’s why it’s important for online music providers to ensure that composers and lyricists are fairly paid for their creations. The current revision to copyright law plays an important role here. Together with other artist organisations, SUISA advocates for an improvement in the situation for artists in the digital age.”

SUISA’s Annual Report 2018 is available online at 

You can find a 2018 overview from SUISA at 

Further information:
Giorgio Tebaldi
Head of Communications SUISA
Tel. +41 44 485 65 03

SUISA is the cooperative society for composers, lyricists and music publishers in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Its 38,000 members represent all musical walks of life. SUISA represents the world music repertoire of two million authors in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. It licenses the use of this world repertoire to over 120,000 clients. In 2017, SUISA and SESAC, a US music rights organisation, established Mint Digital Services in joint venture. Mint Digital Services is responsible for the accounting and management of the transnational music licensing activities of SESAC and its subsidiary The Harry Fox Agency, and for SUISA's business with online providers; the joint venture company also provides services for publishers.

SUISA employs a staff of approx. 240 in its offices in Zurich, Lausanne and Lugano and realises an annual turnover of over CHF 160 million. As a not-for-profit organisation, SUISA distributes its licensing revenues, net of a cost coverage deduction, to music authors and publishers.