Skip navigation links
Our organisation
Our people
Our track record
Corporate resources
Policy and research
Press centre

PRS for Music Financial Results 2009 

15 March 2010

Royalty revenues rise 2.6% on 2008

PRS for Music, which represents 65,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK, collecting and distributing royalties on their behalf, today announced a 2.6% rise in annual revenues to £623m. 

Tougher trading conditions in the UK music market were offset by strong growth internationally and by the licensing of new online services:

  • Significant increase in revenues from British music use abroad (up 19.4% to £166.9m) were buoyed by both exchange rate gains and increased licensing activity in new and established territories
  • Online revenues grew 72.7% to £30.4m, reflecting the increased number of legal licensed digital music services available in the UK and across Europe
  • This growth (£12.8m) outperformed the decline in traditional CD and DVD formats (down £8.7m) for the first time, though the legal online music market is still comparatively small
  • Public performance revenues increased by 2.4% despite a reduction in licence fees for small businesses to £44 per annum as more businesses take greater advantage of the benefits of music

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music, said: “In a tough trading year for all of us I’m pleased we were able to deliver a small increase in royalty revenues, allowing the nation’s music creators to keep creating music that is heard and appreciated around the world.  This growth reflects in particular our increased efforts to license those benefiting from the use of British music overseas, our continued pursuit of legitimate alternatives to online piracy and, as always, the creative talent of our authors, composers and publishers. 

2009 was the first year in which the growth in revenues from the legal digital market compensated for the decline in revenues from traditional CDs and DVDs, though we remain cautious as to whether this represents a true turning point. The next decade does however promise further growth in earnings from the legal digital market as well as the use of British music overseas”.

2009 Results

Business area*  2009 (£m) 2008 (£m)  % Change 
Broadcasting & Online   177.4  180.2   -1.5%
International   166.9  139.8  19.4%
Public Performance Sales   150.2  146.7  2.4%
Recorded Media   128.5  141.6  -9.3%
Total  623.0  608.3   2.6%


*An explanation of business areas:
1. Broadcasting & Online – covering all radio, TV & internet services
2. International – use of British music abroad in any form
3. Public Performance Sales – including clubs, music venues, businesses & commercial premises
4. Recorded Media – such as CDs & DVDs

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 125,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to nearly 15m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn, PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £621.5m in 2016, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

Contact us

Press Enquiries

Coral Williamson
Communications Executive

Stefania Pavlou
Communications Manager, Media Relations

+44 (0)20 3741 4777

Marketing Enquiries

Ben Dancer
Marketing Executive


PRS Big Numbers
Follow us on M Magazine Twitter Facebook Linked In YouTube
© PRS for Music