The revenue generated by MPAA in the latest tax filing shows a decline after a few years of modest growth. The reason is lower membership fees paid by the major Hollywood studios. Additionally, the filing revealed MPAA’s former CEO Chris Dodd earned $3.4 million during his final year.
The MPAA has achieved many anti-piracy successes in recent years as a united front for Hollywood.
MPAA has worked tirelessly in the shutdowns of Popcorn Time, YIFY, isoHunt, Hotfile, Megaupload and several other platforms.
Less apparent but essential, the MPAA does use its influence to lobby lawmakers and simultaneously arranges and manages anti-piracy campaigns both in the United States and abroad.
All this work doesn’t come freely, and so the MPAA relies on six major movie studios to pay the bills. Revenues had stabilized over the past several years, but in its latest filing, there is a drop.
The total revenue stood at $57 million for the fiscal year 2016 down from $73 million according to an IRS filing. The Hollywood studios paid most of it through membership fees totaling $50 million. A 22% drop compared to the previous year.
Year ending it resulted in a significant loss of $8 million. That’s a lot of money, but the MPAA is still in safe hands as it has over $10 million in net assets and funds.
There is no explanation for the lower membership fees.
Most of the expenses are incurred through salaries with Chris Dodd, the former MPAA Chairman, and CEO the highest paid employee with over $3.4 million in total income, including a $275,000 bonus.
It was a compensation for Dodd’s last full year as CEO. Last year Charles Rivkin replaced him another political heavyweight, who previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Matters in the Obama administration.
10% of the entire salary budget was taken up by Dodd’s compensation. The remaining divided by MPAA’s other 196 employees. So the total workforce was 197 down from 224 a year earlier.
Moving on, it does charity work as well by donating to various research initiatives, including a recurring million dollar grant for Carnegie Mellon’s ‘Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics’ (IDEA), which deals with piracy related topics.
Copyright Alliance is another primary beneficiary. The group co-founded by the MPAA is a non-profit copyright holders representative, and it received $750,000 in support according to the latest filing.
The total grants budget is $3.1 million and comprises many smaller payments, similar to previous years. Lobbying budget totaled $3.6 million, and $5.3 million in legal fees.
Apart from revenues, the other aspects seem well taken care of.