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Radio broadcasting (National) 

Where does the money come from?

The radio broadcasting companies pay us blanket annual royalty charges for their music use.

How are royalties calculated?

Depending on the level of its revenue and the difficulty of collecting and processing its data, each radio station’s revenue is distributed across all its music use for either a sample of days or every day it broadcasts. We're continuing our pledge to remove broadcast sampling as a method of determining royalty payments and moving to census wherever it is economically viable to do so. 


You should receive a royalty every time your music is played on a census station.*


For sample channels all music broadcast on specific sample days is processed, so you will only receive payment if your music is broadcast on one of the sample days for that station.

In both cases the value of each play is dependent on the annual revenue received from each station, the amount of music being paid on each channel for the year and the actual duration of the performance. The fee collected for a radio station doesn’t change whether census or sample based processing is used.


For some stations it is not cost effective to process any data at all. In these instances you will not receive a direct payment for broadcasts on these stations. Instead, the money from these stations is distributed by analogy across usage data from other stations. You will only receive payment if your music features in the data from those other stations.*

The fee collected for a radio station doesn’t change whether census, sample or analogy based processing is used.

Please note, any sampled or census music usage that our systems match automatically will be paid irrespective of value. Music usages that are not automatically matched will only be processed and paid where the total value of usage in that quarter is £5 or greater. Music usages of individual works that are worth less than £5 in a specific distribution are classed as undistributable and are neither processed nor paid.

View a list of per minute values for radio stations

What is the administration rate?

Download PRS for Music administration deduction rates

When do we pay?

We aim to pay royalties quarterly.

If we receive usage information late from the broadcaster, we will pay the resulting royalties in the next available distribution.

Can royalties be backdated?

Yes. If we have not paid you correctly in a distribution you have up to three years after the distribution the money should have been received (as indicated in the schedule above) to let us know.

Why might I not have been paid for a radio broadcast?

Are you sure your music has been broadcast on a census station or on one of our sample days? Download and check the census and sample day list above.

Are you sure your music has been broadcast? Contact the broadcaster to find out more.

Are you sure your music has been registered correctly?

Check our database

Was the broadcast more than three months ago?

We pay broadcast royalties quarterly as detailed in the schedule above, so your work must have been broadcast at least three months ago for you to receive a royalty. If broadcast information was received late, you will receive payment in the next available distribution.

Have we been able to identify the performance of your music?

Sometimes, due to incomplete details being received, we are unable to match broadcasts to music on our database. To find out if any of your music remains unidentified, please use our Check unpaid performances service.

Need more help?

If after checking the above you still haven’t received a payment you think you should already have had, please raise a query.

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© PRS for Music