Words from the CEO, 2022

Back to some sort of normality

2022 was the year when TONO and society in general returned to something approaching normal after two years characterised by Covid-19 lockdowns and falling revenues, particularly in the concert, cinema and the background music segments. Against this background, we are satisfied with gross revenues for the year of NOK 864.6 million.

Adjusting for Covid-19 compensation of NOK 33.9 million paid to TONO’s Norwegian members in 2021, this corresponds to a year-on-year increase of approximately 4 per cent. TONO’s income from the concert segment closed the year at a record-high NOK 104 million. After a statutory 2 per cent deduction payable to the Norwegian Composers’ Fund, as well as losses and administrative costs, the result for distribution was NOK 717.3 million. Expenses for the entire business totalled 12.77 per cent of revenues in 2022, up from 10.66 per cent the previous year. The increase is primarily attributable to costs linked to legal proceedings, and partly to the start of a new and extensive technology development programme.

Years of change
Although we have returned to some kind of normality following the pandemic, our industry and our business are constantly changing. Technology, in the guise of new tools that use artificial intelligence, has raised the bar for solutions and reporting, and led to more acquisitions and fragmentation within rights ownership.

The years of 2022, 2023 and 2024 will be remembered as years of change for TONO. We are currently making significant investments in IT in order to create automated, competitive and future-proof solutions. The investments we are now making will ensure that TONO remains a preferred business partner well into the future – for our members, our customers and our sister societies in other countries. We aim to be a leading manager of music rights. TONO must be efficient and precise, and we must add value for both rights holders and users.
The Norwegian Collective Rights Management Act was fully implemented into Norwegian law in 2021, and TONO has adapted to the requirements of the Act. Following the 2022 Annual General Meeting, TONO is now more transparent and democratic than ever. We established rights categories in 2022, and introduced new conditions for concert organisers, including opportunities to reduce the royalties payable for performances of repertoires not managed by TONO. The change came about as a result of revised legal framework conditions, which when viewed in isolation result in slightly lower concert revenues, but do not have a major overall impact. One particular benefit of the change is that it provides better reporting of what is performed at concerts.

Transparency is essential to retain the trust of our customers, members and sister societies and the outside world.

We strive to achieve transparency in our daily operations. Throughout 2022, we invited groups of individual members, music publishers and managers to various member meetings. In 2023, we will establish meeting places with our customers. Dialogue with groups and stakeholders affected by TONO’s activities provides us with useful input in many areas.

In addition to the requirements established in the Norwegian Collective Rights Management Act, in 2023 TONO must also comply with the requirements of the new Norwegian Transparency Act. This will help ensure that businesses above a certain size adopt ethical business practices. While it is a question of interpretation as to whether TONO as a business is covered by the Transparency Act, given the relevance and importance of the Act, we wish to comply with the requirements anyway. Our first Norwegian Transparency Act Statement will be published on tono.no in June 2023. The foundations we have laid in this area in the spring of 2023 will eventually also encompass the important area of sustainability.

TONO creates value for our members, sister societies and customers
Although the copyright sector’s economic framework conditions are founded on solid legal protection, copyright royalties do not collect themselves. TONO’s more than 60-strong expert team makes a formidable effort on behalf of Norwegian and foreign composers, lyricists and music publishers. TONO is, and will continue to be, a society that not only manages, but creates genuine value for those we represent.

In a period where the economic framework conditions for international rights are fragmenting into new, commercial company constellations, and where rights are changing hands more frequently than before, TONO believes that the most effective way to create value is through collective management. The global repertoire of music that TONO manages gives us the power to secure fair compensation for our rights holders – both in Norway and abroad.

For businesses and organisations that use music, collective management makes perfect sense. With a TONO licence, the music users are free to pick and choose from the world’s best music repertoire, and can, with the help of TONO’s music rights, add value to their services – whether they run a streaming service, a radio station, a concert venue, a hair salon or a cinema. You can read more about the power of using the right music at musikkenforsterker.no.


Karl Vestli