A £40 million record year for ALCS

17 June 2021

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is delighted to announce that we have collected over £40 million in one year for creators from across the world.

This is the first time in our 44-year history that we’ve hit this landmark figure. Since 1977, we’ve paid over £570 million in total to writers for the use of their written and visual works.

ALCS exists to support our members’ ability to write by increasing their income. We help creators receive payments for hard-to-reach, unique uses of their work. Through these payments, we aim to help support writers so they can continue to write the books, films and TV programmes that are beloved by, and central to, society.

Over the course of the year, the ALCS team has processed millions of micropayments received from 55 different countries, as well as securing new agreements with organisations in countries including Argentina, Belgium and Colombia. In the March 2021 distribution, which is typically the bigger of our twice-yearly distributions, we paid over 90,000 writers a share of £26 million – more money to more ALCS members in a single distribution than ever before.

This record year comes at a time when many writers are still feeling the financial burden of the pandemic, after a year of lockdown restrictions and the most recent Budget announcement revealing changes to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme that fall short of expectations for freelancers. ALCS payments have been even more welcome than usual.

Owen Atkinson, Chief Executive of ALCS, said of the achievement for the organisation: “It is fantastic that we have been able to collect this amount of income and distribute this money to our members in a year when so many writers have struggled financially. Thanks to the efforts of our staff, we have been able to operate business as usual and without disruption, despite everyone working out of their homes throughout the whole of the last year. Despite the ongoing COVID pandemic, we continue to collect licence income for members as we strive for another successful year in 2021.”

If you know a writer who may benefit from joining ALCS, encourage them to join online at alcs.co.uk/register.