2016 is a landmark year for NLA media access as we celebrate 20 years of supporting UK journalism and today, I am delighted to announce the release of our latest annual report covering the 2015 financial year.
In 1996, as BSE and the Euro dominated the headlines, the NLA recovered just shy of £1 million in royalties for publishers. While the Eurozone still commands newspapers’ attention in 2016 - some things never change - I am pleased to announce that the NLA has generated £40 million in total licensing and database servicing revenue.
This result is a fantastic achievement and testament to the hard work of colleagues and the health of UK publishing. Royalties paid to publishers grew 8.5% and, despite investment in new staff and database development, plus an office move in Tunbridge Wells, efficiencies enabled NLA to return 84% of revenue collected directly to publishers. As case studies contained in the annual report from the The Economist, Tindle Newspapers and The Guardian all recognise, the NLA provides an increasingly valuable source of income for UK publishers.
In 2015 the NLA also donated a further £100,000 to the Journalism Diversity Fund, taking our contributions to this important cause to over £1 million since its launch in 2005.
While we celebrate our 20th anniversary year, we continue to be mindful of changes in the media landscape and our customers’ changing needs. This is not a new challenge for the NLA. ClipShare, an NLA innovation used by over 7,000 journalists, has quickly become an indispensable tool for those in the industry. In a similar vein, 2015 saw the release of the new PR Client Service Licence to simplify copyright compliance for PR agencies. The licence was initiated and developed as a result of customer feedback, and further shaped by constructive input from the CIPR. Since its launch in November, over 160 PR agencies have opted to transfer across to the new licence.
2015 saw the NLA continue to increase the number of publishers and clients we serve, using our expertise to support the business development of monitoring clients and publishers alike. I have no doubt that this progress will continue in 2016 and beyond.
In addition to the release of the annual report today, we have published supplementary details on the cost of NLA licensing in both the public and private sector which demonstrate the excellent value that our licences offer in enabling clients to keep abreast of media reporting. As the figures show, the c. 8,000 NLA organisations in the private sector pay just £2.08 per employee per year for copyright clearance; in the public sector, covering central and local government and NGOs, the average cost of an NLA licence is reduced to just £1.62 per employee per year. These figures embody our core value of balancing value for money for all our clients with returning essential income direct to the creators and publishers of content