Cinemas tariff consultation

Updated 30 August 2023: As a result of feedback received we have updated the consultation to remove references to public performance of production music sound recordings (PMSR). To ensure you are responding to the most recent proposed changes please use the updated documents and feedback form below.

We're reaching out to get input on Tariff C, a proposed new licensing tariff for music use in cinemas. This tariff includes music in feature films, trailers, cinema idents, commercial advertising and foyer background music.

Your view is important to help us consult with the industry and find the right approach for the licensing of music in this sector.

We are seeking your views on the following:

  • Our royalty rates for the public performance of music during the showing of films, pre-film content and the use of background music in foyers. 
  • Our royalty rates for cinematic presentations of live music events - such as concerts which are live streamed into cinemas or pre-recorded.
  • Our proposed charging metric for films, pre-film content and cinematic presentations of live music events.
  • The option for you to declare your music usage and pay for your licence on a 6-month basis as well as annually.
  • The removal of the prompt payment discount.
  • The retention of the low admissions discount for small and/or independent venues.

The consultation will run until 20 September 2023. We will review all responses received before or on the closing date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our public performance tariff for Cinema (Tariff C) has been in operation for several years and was last agreed in 2005. The cinema industry has evolved since 2005, with the average top 70 feature film containing music from members’ repertoire. The aim is to create a revised tariff that is easy to understand, simple for customers to use, whilst fairly reflecting the value of PRS members’ music.

Tariff C will apply to the public performance of PRS for Music repertoire, at the following venues that show feature films, film trailers, idents, commercial adverts, and background music within the foyer:

  • cinemas, art centres or other fixed premises at which the commercial exhibition of films regularly takes place on not fewer than three days weekly for a period of not less than four months during the year
  • drive-ins, and temporary ‘pop up’ cinemas currently charged under our General Purposes tariff “Tariff GP.”
  • Films metric: The new Tariff C has been simplified and now only applies a single Pence Per Admission (PPA) metric to charge for the use of music in feature films. We propose to remove the 1% of net box office receipts metric from the new tariff.
  • Cinematic presentations of live music events e.g., concerts: Licence fees will be calculated using a PPA metric as opposed to 3% of net box office receipts. 
  • Booking Fees:  Tariff C will factor booking fees where the fee is included within the purchase price of the ticket.
  • 4% Prompt Payment Discount (PPD): This will be phased out over the next two years; ending in January 2026.
  • Annual Review: Full or half yearly usage reviews will be available to exhibitors.
  • Carers Complimentary Tickets: We will no longer charge a royalty for admissions from the UK Cinema Association (UKCA) CEA Card scheme where the carer(s) who accompanies a paying adult or child receives complementary entry. The CEA Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.

Pence per admission (PPA) was introduced in the 2005 settlement agreement by the CEA (now UK Cinema Association). We accepted the principle to allow two metrics and the option to apply either as it was expected to deliver an equivalent value (namely 1% of net UK box office receipts), however in practice, this has allowed the application of box office actual receipts and PPA rate to be blended at a customer level, leading to an effective rate less than 1%. 

We have opted to move forward with a PPA rate as the simpler of the two metrics to administer. By way of example, if an exhibitor provides complimentary tickets and has chosen to be assessed under Actual Receipts, the exhibitor is required to declare the amount which would have been paid had normal prices been charged for that admission. Also, in the advent of dynamic pricing, a consistent PPA rate will allow for increased royalty pricing transparency and accuracy as well as allowing for simpler pricing flexibility as the industry develops.


Actual admissions for the purpose of the new Tariff C means all admissions (per person) to the cinema screen(s) of the exhibitor during the licence year. This also includes admissions via complimentary tickets, employee passes and subscription cards or similar.

Admissions from the UKCA CEA Card are to be excluded from actual admissions.

The scope of Tariff C will be widened to include temporary cinemas, art centres and drive-in cinemas previously charged under our General Purposes Tariff. This is to ensure our charging for the exhibition of films, pre-film content and cinematic presentations of live music is consistent across similar types of venues or events.
If you use, play, or perform music in your business or organisation, the chances are you need a music licence. After business costs, all the licence fees collected are then processed, allocated and distributed to the talented music creators that we represent. By purchasing a licence, customers are supporting the future of music by helping to ensure its creators are paid for their work, so that the people who write, perform and record it can continue making the music we all love. 
There are several methods to track the music being played in different environments, including surveys on businesses, and by tracking radio play and feature film cue sheets, that allow us to distribute the licence fees collected as accurately and efficiently as possible. 90% of all the money collected goes to the songwriters, composers, and publishers of the works in our licensable repertoire- we just deduct our running costs.
Our distributions are normally made four times a year, in April, July, October and December. We aim to include payments in the second quarterly distribution after the event has taken place. For example, music performed in May would be included in the October distribution.


Contact us

If you have any queries regarding our consultation, please contact us on

switching account

Switching your account...