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Where does the money come from?

Most countries around the world have an organisation like PRS for Music that collects and distributes music royalties. We have set up a network of reciprocal agreements with overseas societies so that you can receive royalties for performances of your works abroad.

How are royalties calculated?

Like PRS for Music, each overseas society has its own distribution rules, and usually distributes based on the amounts paid and the information received from music users. Money for any of our members’ works included in the distribution is then passed on to us. We will then deduct an administration charge before distributing the royalties.
List of countries covered and the PRS for Music admin rate for each

When will I get paid?

Royalties from overseas societies are received throughout the year.  We distribute this money in our normal quarterly distributions, usually in the next appropriate distribution following receipt from the other society. For money collected by our commonwealth agencies we distribute twice a year usually based on reported broadcast data and local gigs and clubs scheme claims. Please note the following table is for guidance, and societies can sometimes send money at any other times during the year.

Performance Period

(target distribution date at bottom of table)

USA (ASCAP) Apr - June 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16
USA (BMI) Apr - June 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16
Argentina  Jan - Mar 15 Sep - Dec 15
Australia Apr - Jun 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16
Austria  Jan - June 15 Jul - Dec 15
Belgium Jan - Dec 14
Brazil Apr - June 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16
Canada Jan - Mar 15 Apr - June 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15
Chile Jan - June 15
Czech Republic Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16 Apr - June 16
Denmark Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16 Apr - June 16 Jul - Sep 16 
Finland Jul - Dec 15
France Jan - June 15 Jul - Dec 15 Jan - June 16 Jul - Dec 16
Germany   Jan - Dec 15 Jan - Dec 15
Greece Jan - Dec 14  
Holland Jan - Dec 15
Hong Kong Jan - Dec 15
Hungary Jan - Dec 15
Ireland (EIRE) Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16 Apr - June 16
Israel Jan - Jun 15 Jul - Dec 15  
Italy Jul - Dec 13 Jan - Jun 14  
Japan Apr - June 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16
Malaysia Jan - Dec 15
Mexico Apr - June 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16
New Zealand Apr - June 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16
Nordic Copyright Bureau Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 16 Apr - June 16
Norway Jan - Dec 15 Jan - Dec 16  
Poland Oct - Dec 15  Jan - Mar 15 Apr - June 16  Jul - Oct 16
Portugal Jan - June 15   Jul - Dec 15  
Romania Apr - June 15 Jul - Sep 15 Oct - Dec 15 Jan - Mar 15
Russia Jul - Dec 14
Singapore Jul - Dec 14 Jan - June 15
South Africa  Jan - Dec 14 Jan - Dec 15  
Spain Jan - June 15 Oct -Dec 15 Jul - Dec 15 Apr - June 15 
Sweden Jan - June 15   Jul - Dec 15 Jan - Dec 15
Switzerland Jan - June 15 Jan - Dec 15
Taiwan Jan - Dec 14
PRS for Music distribution date: Apr 2016 July 2016 Oct 2016 Dec 2016

This schedule prioritises the top societies which send their royalties consistently. Unscheduled royalties will be included in the first available distribution.

We will use our best endeavours to honour the commitment to members set out in this plan. However, there may be occasions where we cannot comply with this planned schedule which are beyond our control.  In such circumstances we will, where possible, communicate any change to the plan in appropriate literature.

In most cases, the performance periods refer to all performance sources. There are a few exceptions where the affiliated societies return, predominately, film sections a little later than the ones covering general and broadcasting. This also explains why there are some overlapping, or identical, performance period dates for the same territory.

Why might I not have been paid?

As is the case with PRS for Music, not all performances of a work can be logged and paid by another society. There are many reasons why performances of works abroad may not have been paid:

  • The sale of a television series abroad, for example, does not guarantee that a broadcast will take place, or that the channel on which it is broadcast is included in a society’s distribution. If it is, we are usually notified if a programme has been broadcast for which an affiliated society has no information.
  • Smaller, local radio and TV stations are less important, economically, to a society and so are usually sampled, such as one day a week or one day a month, thus reducing the probability of being included in the distribution sample.
  • Most societies distribute royalties for music performed within an advert, but there are exceptions. It is important with large advertising campaigns for members to obtain as much information as possible at the start of the campaign from the advertising agency. In some instances the name of the product may change from country to country and the soundtrack may be re-dubbed.

What should I do if I know my music is being performed abroad and I haven't received payment?

If you haven't received payment for overseas usage in line with the payment schedule above, you can notify us of performances that you know to have taken place. The more specific this performance information is, the more likely accurate payment will follow.

Log in to your online account and click the 'Report live performances' button to report details of live performances abroad.

Live concert service

For very large live concert events, PRS for Music can operate a special tailored live concert service. The benefits of this service are that PRS for Music will endeavour to pay the royalties in an agreed timescale and to an agreed fixed administration cost. A number of conditions must be fulfilled in order to use this service. Please contact us for more information.


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