Record revenues from copyrighted music

TONO received revenues totalling NOK 997.9 million in 2023

(Oslo, 28 May 2024) TONO received revenues totalling NOK 997.9 million in 2023. For the first time, streaming was the largest source of revenue for the collective rights management society, and the Norwegian music industry can celebrate the fact that TONO’s repertoire was exported as never before in 2023.

 / 30/05/2024 / Willy Martinsen

In 2023, TONO received revenues totalling NOK 997,896,781, up 15.41 per cent from 2022, when it generated revenues of NOK 864.6 million. After deductions for losses and operating expenses, as well as a 2 per cent contribution to the Norwegian Composers Fund, TONO had NOK 847,982,395 available for distribution to rights holders in Norway and abroad. This is NOK 130.6 million more than in 2022, and represents the highest distributable amount in TONO’s history.

“We are delighted by the record level of income from the internet, concerts and background music, as well as the high income from the use of TONO’s music outside of Norway. This tells us that our music is appreciated, that the TONO licence is an attractive product and that collective management of copyrights is a viable and robust business model,” says TONO’s CEO Karl Vestli.

At the same time, he is keen for the record level of revenues to be seen in the correct context:

“TONO is a non-profit cooperative society that distributes funds to hundreds of thousands of music creators and music publishers in Norway and abroad on the basis of where and how much their music is used. It is an economy with very few winners – 90 per cent of the TONO members who received distributions in 2023 were paid less than NOK 14,000. There are multiple areas where composers and lyricists cannot currently be said to receive fair compensation. One example is the concert area, which TONO is now taking steps to change,” says Vestli.

Read the notice “TONO is modernising the concert tariff”, published on, 28 May 2024

Internet largest, broadcasting stable

In 2023, the internet overtook broadcasting as TONO’s largest source of income. Online revenues ended the year at NOK 300 million, a significant increase from the NOK 225 million generated by this area in 2022. The improvement was driven by TONO’s successful negotiations with film streaming services and by Polaris Hub, which licenses music streaming services on TONO’s behalf.

The media market is moving away from linear radio and TV broadcasts to on-demand services. Despite this, TONO succeeded in keeping its revenues from the broadcasting sector stable in 2023. TONO’s negotiating and licensing activities resulted in broadcasting revenues of NOK 263.6 million in 2023, compared with NOK 260.6 million in 2022.

Record revenues from concerts

Concerts are TONO’s third largest source of income. TONO’s Market department, which licenses concerts, was pleased to note that its efforts had resulted in record revenues of NOK 112 million in 2023, up from NOK 104.2 million in 2022. Revenues from background music also rose significantly, from NOK 78 million in 2022 to NOK 88 million in 2023.

Revenues from TONO’s counterparts in other countries totalled NOK 85.4 million in 2023, up from NOK 72.8 million the year before. In addition, NOK 31 million of TONO’s online revenues (described above) derived from the streaming of Norwegian music abroad. In total, therefore, TONO received more than NOK 116 million in revenues from abroad.

Read more about TONO’s 2023 results in its Transparency Report

TONO´s revenues over the last 10 years.

30,000 TONO members received distributions in 2023

TONO distributes funds to rights holders on the basis of reports of actual music use. In 2023, TONO distributed NOK 390 million to counterparts in other countries, based on actual performances of music in Norway. Correspondingly, TONO distributed NOK 323.5 million to 30,505 TONO members in 2023.

This means that 54.7 per cent of the amount distributed to specific rights holders was paid to recipients abroad, while 45.3 per cent was paid to Norwegian rights holders.

Modernising the concert tariff and rules for distribution

TONO’s management and board have been working for more than two years on a thorough review of how TONO calculates and distributes the compensation due to rights holders. The objective has been to accommodate changing framework conditions and ensure that composers, lyricists and music publishers receive fair payment. In connection with TONO’s annual general meeting on 11 June, the society will therefore announce that it has adopted a modernised tariff for concert organisers and a new distribution model for its members. The annual general meeting will be asked to approve the distribution model recommended by TONO’s board. The concert tariff has already been finally adopted. The new concert tariff will be implemented in full with effect from 2027, while the new distribution model will be fully effective for performances in 2028 and beyond.

Read more about the new distribution model here
Read more about the new concert tariff here

Key figures for 2023

Read TONO’s entire Transparency Report here

About TONO:

TONO was founded 1928 and is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. TONO is a non-profit collective rights management society that is cooperatively owned and operated by composers, lyricists and music publishers for the purpose of managing the economic rights to their musical works. TONO licenses the use of copyright-protected music on the radio, television and internet, and in concerts and cinemas, against payment of a fee. Every year, the society distributes its financial result to the rights holders of music that has been performed in public. TONO has more than 40,000 members, but also works on behalf of millions of music creators and publishers worldwide. TONO provides music creators the financial basis necessary to create new music. It also centralises and simplifies the licensing of copyright-protected music by music users. TONO received NOK 997.9 million in revenues in 2023.

For more information:

Willy Martinsen, Director of Communications, willy.martinsen (a); phone: +47 909 65 254
Karl Vestli, CEO, karl.vestli (a); phone: +47 932 56 020