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PRS for Music financial results 2008 

PRS for Music19 January 2009

Record revenues for UK songwriters and composers

PRS for Music (formerly The MCPS-PRS Alliance), which collects and pays music royalties, today announces record results for 2008 worth over £600m in royalties to UK songwriters, composers and music publishers.

  • Overall growth of 8% on 2007 (PRS for Music has consistently grown revenue year-on-year),
  • Licensing more effectively across the board.  Over 350,000 UK businesses are now licensed to use music,
  • Double digit growth in 3 of our 4 business areas,
  • Effectively licensing new online services, therefore monetising the digital space.

Chief Executive, Steve Porter, said, "For the first time our revenue has topped £600 million which is a fantastic achievement.  It's a great boost for the UK songwriters, composers & publishers who we represent and a strong start for our new identity PRS for Music."

2008 Results:

What PRS for Music earned for its members for the use of their music in 2008. PRS for Music is uniquely placed in that it has data for the whole industry and not just physical sales (figures to be audited):

 Business area*  2008 (£m)  2007 (£m)   % change 
 Broadcast & online  179.7  156.5   15% 
 Performance sales  147.0  133.6  10%
 International  139.6  121.2  15%
 Sub total performing revenue  466.3  411.3  13%
 Physical recorded product  140.6  150.8  -7%
 Total revenue  606.9  562.1  8%
 * See below for explanation of business areas      


An explanation of business areas:
1. Broadcasting & Online – covering all radio, TV & internet services
2. Public Performance Sales – including clubs, music venues, businesses & commercial premises
3. International – when British music is played and used overseas
4. Physical Recorded Product – such as CDs & DVDs

Broadcast & Online

Over £179m collected with 15% growth compared to 2007.
In 2008 PRS for Music agreed new licensing deals with the likes of EMusic, Nokia Comes with Music, Amazon and renewed deals with Disney, UKTV, ITV, Turner Broadcasting, Setanta and many more. PRS for Music is the first collection society in Europe to license YouTube. Radio revenues were flat as commercial advertising came under pressure.

Public Performance Sales

£140m collected with 10% growth compared to 2007.
PRS for Music saw growth in Public performance revenues across all areas due to increased effectiveness in licensing, deeper market penetration and a strong live music market throughout 2008.


Over £139m collected with 15% growth compared to 2007.
PRS for Music now collects royalties from over 170 countries. The top overseas territories for UK-created music in 2008 were:

  • USA
  • Germany
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Italy,

The biggest growth in 2008 came from Eastern Europe and Latin American markets. PRS for Music is also focussed on BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries as future areas of growth.

Physical Recorded Product

£140m collected, a decrease of 7% compared to 2007
The continue decline in CD sales is reflected in PRS for Music’s collection revenues but our overall revenues from physical product has decreased less than the overall market. DVD sales – including titles such as the BBC’s Planet Earth, which contain music content – have performed well.

For more information, get in touch:

Michelangelo Bendandi, Brunswick Group:
02074045959 / 07834 502349

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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Stefania Pavlou
Communications Manager, Media Relations

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Marketing Executive


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