PRS live music consultation prompts a range of responses

January 2016

Live events sector, music publishing


The music publishing sector’s collecting society PRS For Music has confirmed that it has received 111 direct responses to its consultation on the way the organisation licenses live events – the so called ‘Tariff LP’ (Popular Music Concerts Tariff’). Concert and festival promoters, as well as their trade bodies such as the Concert Promoters Association (CPA) and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), clubs and other venues submitted their views, along with the PRS membership (which comprise songwriters and music publishers).
There was some disquiet about the way PRS for Music attempted to structure responses, and indeed how a body seeking to increase a rate could be allowed to run an ‘independent’ consultation. The current rate is 3% of gross box office, but PRS for Music would like to expand this to secondary ticketing, sponsorship and ancillary income. The PRs reviewed the rate just 5 years ago, and were again criticised not only for yet another review, but also for launching the review in the busy summer season, leaving the live events sector little time to respond, although the deadline was later extended at the request of the CPA.  The Report can be found here


What is clear from the report is that small venues and festivals are seeking change – with small venues seeking a reduced or even a ‘zero’ rate to reflect their role in promoting emerging talent, which includes songwriters, and festivals arguing that they should benefit from a tariff more suitable to their unique business models.  Ireland (IMRO) has already launched such a rate, which sits at 1.8% of box office, reflecting the infrastructure spend met by greenfield festivals.


PRS Commercial Director Paul Clements said: “We thank our customers, members and trade bodies for providing their views and comments throughout the consultation process, the purpose of which was to provide us with additional insight and knowledge into reviewing PRS For Music’s Tariff LP, set by the UK Copyright Tribunal back in 1988”.
He added: “We very much appreciate the input of those who provided considered answers and thought in their responses. It has been a productive process in raising a range of considerations which we will now address in further engagement with the industry. Through collaborative discussions, we aim to determine a tariff that is fit for purpose and recognises the valuable contribution that our songwriters and publishers make to the live music industry”.

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