U.K. songwriters' overseas earnings up

Collecting society says earnings up 15.2%

LONDON -- PRS for Music members' earnings from performances of their works overseas have increased 15.2% year-on-year, from £121.2 million ($178.5 million) in 2007 to £139.6 million ($205.6 million) in 2008.

The U.K. collecting society for songwriters and composers published details of members' international earnings Monday, ahead of its full financial results for 2008, which will be unveiled later this month.

The most lucrative market was the U.S., where income for 2008 was £21.7 million ($31.9 million), followed by Germany at £15 million ($22.1 million) and France at £11.6 million ($17.1 million).

PRS for Music has a 60,000-strong membership. Members' works are represented in 150 countries through a series of agreements with around 100 societies and agencies.

"Music is a great U.K. success story," said chief executive Steve Porter in a statement. "But we are not sitting on our laurels. We will be working hard in developing markets and actively continuing to develop these countries for the benefit of our members."

He added that PRS for Music would be "devoting ever greater resources to tracking down and repatriating international royalties for our songwriter and composer members."