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Go Compare advert helps net £10m for UK songwriters 

PRS for Music today revealed the most played music in advertising across television and radio for 2012.

The organisation represents 95,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, tracking music used online, in broadcast, in businesses and performed live so creators can make a living from music royalties.

Advertising revenue is a vital source of income for many songwriters and composers.  In 2012 radio advertising accounted for £1.9m in broadcast royalties with television commercials netting £8m for PRS for Music members.  Of all music played on UK commercial television stations, approximately one minute of every ten is used solely in adverts.

Dan Neale, Head of Music at advertising agency, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R explains, "Music's role in TV adverts has always been significant, and under-rated, but it's never been more beneficial for songwriters to land that deal. The exposure and reach they can gain by getting a song in a commercial is a huge benefit to the artist, as it allows them to cut through the many thousands of acts that the modern audience has access to. The licence fee and royalties that are generated by the campaign can change a songwriter’s career."

The infamous ‘Go Compare’ advert was played most throughout 2012, followed swiftly by its competitor ‘Confused.com’ using the Village People’s iconic Y.M.C.A. song - which was a UK Number 1 chart hit when first released in 1978.

Mercury Prize winner, Speech Debelle co-wrote the music used in the Sky commercial, the fourth most performed ad in 2012. Spinnin’ was written by Speech Debelle (aka Corynne Elliot) along with luminary songwriting team, Pat Marks, Dwayne Richards and Michael Lindsay. Lindsay, who pioneered the massive folktronica scene with his band Tunng is an accomplished composer for television and film, working on the ITV re-brand and soundtracking commercials for O2, T-mobile, Littlewoods, Samsung and Honda.


Speech Debelle commented, "Writing with Mike was a great experience. I love working with people that are from a different musical genre to me so we can bend and wave the sound we're creating. I'm going to Iceland this spring to work with Mike again. It couldn't happen without a supportive and active sync  team; Dean, Adrian, Claire and everyone at Ninja\Big Dada\JIM have been excellent. Sync is an essential source of income for me so I can keep writing and producing music that makes people listen, and PRS for Music helps make that happen.”


 PRS for Music Top 20 Most Played Songs in TV and Radio Commercials 2012        
 Position Work Title Writer Advert Performed By


 Over There  George M. Cohan  Go Compare  N/A


 Y.M.C.A  Edward Willis, Jacques Morali, Henri Belolo  Confused.com  N/A


 Eliza's Aria  Elena Kats-Chernin  Lloyd's TSB  Elena Kats-Chernin (Wild Swans ballet)


 Spinnin'  Mike Lindsay, Corynne Elliott, Pat Marks, Jason Richards  Sky  Speech Debelle


 Primavera  Ludovico Einaudi  Santander  Ludovico Einaudi


 The Universal  Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, JAMES Steven James, David Rowntree  British Gas  Blur


 Shine  Gary Barlow, Paul Donald, Paul Robson, Jason Orange, Mark Owen  Morrisons  Take That


 Here Come The Girls  Allen Toussaint  Boots  Sugababes


 Rescue Me  Carl Smith, Raynard Miner  British Gas  Fontella Bass


 Have Love Will Travel  Richard Berry  LV Insurance  The Sonics


 Young Folks  Peter Moren, John Eriksson, Bjorn Yttling  Homebase  Peter, Bjorn and John


 Bring Me Sunshine  Sylvia Dee, Arthur Kent  Coca-Cola  Willie Nelson


 Busy  Olly MUrs, Martin Brammer, Adam Argyle  Marks & Spencer  Olly Murs


 Our House  Graham Nash  B & Q  Amber State (cover of Crosby Stills & Nash)


 Give a Little Love  Damian Katkhuda  Asda  The Mostar Diving Club


 The Snow Prelude No 3 in C Major  Ludovico Einaudi  Nationwide  Ludovico Einaudi


 Welcome Home  Benjamin P Cooper  Nikon  Radical Face


 It's A Good Day  Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee  Garnier  Peggy Lee


 Barcarolle  Jacques Offenbach, Jack Byfield  Barclays  Arr: Keith J Blainville


 Ain't No Mountain High Enough  Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson  DHL  Created by Paul Epworth ft. Vula Malinga


1 Revenue generated from ‘sync’ deals for advertisements is a vital source of income for many songwriters. Advertising agencies can pay fees to secure the music they need to make their advert work. In addition to these initial sync fees, songwriters and publishers get paid royalties by PRS for Music every time the advert is broadcast on TV or radio and last year these totalled £10m.

Notes to Editors

  • PRS for Music is able to track music usage by licensing broadcasters and using reporting technology to collect set lists and song data.
  • Synchronisation or ‘sync’ teams are responsible for placing music in adverts, films and television dramas.



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 over 10m 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 £537.4m in 2015, 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.

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