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About tariff consultations 

Our public performance consultation process

We aim to ensure that our charges for music played or performed in public are fair to both music creators and music users. We have more than 40 tariffs reflecting the different needs of music users, which may include licensing the playing of music in pubs, clubs, concerts or shops.

A tariff is a type of licensing scheme that sets out (a) the class of case in which PRS is willing to grant performing right licences; and (b) the terms (including the rate or amount of licence fee or royalty) on which they are willing to do so in those classes of case.

We agree our charges with national trade associations and representative bodies wherever possible. In some cases, the independent Copyright Tribunal is requested to make a decision.

What is a consultation process?

Different market sectors, and their music use, are always changing. We need to continually review our tariffs to reflect these changes. This may involve making amendments to existing tariffs and/or introducing new tariffs [and/or consolidating existing tariffs].

A consultation process allows PRS for Music to:

  • Provide information about any tariff review
  • Gather information about music use and the value of music use for that market sector
  • Explain any proposed changes and the impact on customers

A consultation process allows music users to:

  • Provide information about how they use music and the value of music use to their business or organisation
  • Comment on the current charges
  • Comment on any proposed changes
  • Put forward alternate viewpoints and suggestions

Our consultation process

Where we are considering or proposing to make significant changes to a tariff or to introduce a new tariff, we are committed to undertaking a consultation process as part of which we invite customers and/or their representative associations to submit views on our proposals.

We aim to conduct consultations that are fair, reasonable and proportionate in relation to:

  • the substance and scale of the proposed changes;
  • the number and class of licensees who are or may be affected by any change;
  • the mode and manner of the consultation, including the duration of the consultation period as a whole.

What happens as part of a consultation?

Consultations are tailored to meet the needs of a particular tariff review as all our market sectors are different. There are normally four stages:

It should be noted, that we may dispense with one or more of the four stages in the consultation process where the relevant trade body or representative has significant coverage and a mandate from its membership to negotiate a new or significant change to a scheme.  In such cases PRS will enter into direct negotiations with the representative body concerned.

Exploratory: We usually start a review by gathering information about music use in the relevant market sector and conducting any required research.

Consultation with representative organisations: We will identify relevant representative organisations and invite them to discuss the tariff.  If and where the representative organization is in a position to bind its members to the terms of a scheme, we may enter into negotiations with that body with a view to agreeing the terms of a new or varied tariff. 

Customer Consultation: We send a notice of consultation to all affected customers (existing licensees) and normally invite them to review consultation documents on our website. These documents could contain information about what has been discussed and agreed with the representative bodies.

Implementation: We will publish the outcome of the consultation, and a revised tariff if appropriate once all consultation responses have been reviewed and considered.

Minor and other changes to tariffs:

Annual inflation adjustments: Most of our tariffs include an annual adjustment related to inflation. Such adjustments are, strictly speaking, part of an existing scheme, rather than a change to the scheme itself.  Details are included in the tariff document. 

Cosmetic changes: Sometimes we make changes to tariffs that do not affect the amount customers are charged. These changes are often intended to make the tariff clearer or remove obsolete charges and/or definitions.

Minor changes: are changes that do not alter the fundamental terms of the tariff under which PRS is prepared to grant licences. .

Mandatory changes:  are changes necessary to comply with legal or other regulatory requirements, such as an Order of the Copyright Tribunal.
Summary of Minor and other changes

Type of change Timetable
Inflation adjustment Published on website only 28 days notice
Cosmetic Published on website only 28 days notice
Minor Formal notification sent to all affected customers and relevant representative bodies. Minimum of 28 days notice
Major Notification and implementation as required by relevant Order or other mandatory rule
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