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Michael Jackson set to make Royalty History says PRS for Music 

Thursday 2 July 2009

Michael Jackson set to make Royalty History says PRS for Music

Since the Pop icon’s sudden death on Thursday, 25th June there have been widespread reports of skyrocketing music sales and radio airplay domination.

Michael Jackson’s death will lead to a phenomenal increase in royalty earnings from his music according to PRS for Music, the organisation which represents the UK’s 60,000 strong song writing community and nearly two million overseas.

Jackson wrote many of the 100 songs he recorded including Billy Jean, Beat It, Bad, Smooth Criminal and Black or White. Since his death, these songs will continue to earn royalties for his estate and those nominated to look after the songs.

Other songwriters who look set to receive a substantial increase in royalties include our own Rod Temperton (wrote Thriller) from Cleethorpes along with some other U.S songwriters including Glen Ballard and Siedah Garrett (co-writers for Man in the Mirror) and Bill Bottrell (co-wrote Black or White with Michael Jackson).

PRS for Music said: ‘We have witnessed an unprecedented 1,735% rise in the amount of airplay, let alone sales and downloads of Michael Jackson’s songs since his death which will provide a royalty boost for his estate and his songwriters.’

Radio airplay is up 1,735% from the previous week according to Nielsen and Heart Radio Network has reported that their stations within Heart are airing Billy Jean between 13-15 times each day across the network.

Music retailer HMV has reported a 500% rise in sales of Jackson's classics such as Thriller and Bad and after Michael Jackson’s death was announced, all CDs by Michael Jackson 5 on Amazon.com had sold out within minutes.

The Essential Michael Jackson alone was downloaded roughly 70,000 times and there have been 27,776,356 viewings of the Jackson’s Thriller video on YouTube.

Google hits for Michael Jackson have soared to over one billion since his death last week and have been rising at 100,000 every 30 minutes.

Last week PRS for Music launched an online Condolence Book to pay tribute to Michael Jackson and celebrate his career and huge contribution to music. Hundreds of moving tributes continue to be uploaded including those from memorable a diversity of songwriters including jazz singer Carol Kidd MBE, Carol Decker from T’Pau and members from the Raggamuffin band.


Notes to editors

His Thriller album released in 1982 was the best selling album of all time producing thirteen number one hits along the way, making him the most popular recording artist of all time.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 118,000 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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Stefania Pavlou
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