Music Recognition Technology

PRS for Music plays a vital role at the heart of the music industry, ensuring music creators are paid fairly when their music is played in public. As the music industry evolves, we are constantly innovating to adapt.

Music Recognition Technology

In a major step this year, we are extending our use of music recognition technology to advance the way music creators are paid when their music is played in nightclubs and at festivals.

To mark this significant shift for the dance music community, a new video featuring Lohan Presencer (Chairman of Ministry of Sound), Simon Dunmore (Founder of Defected Records), and B. Traits (DJ, producer and presenter) urges UK nightclubs to support the use of music recognition technology and explains the important impact this development will have for dance music creators.

DJ sets are spontaneous and varied, changing from gig to gig, which can make it difficult for DJs to tell us what they play. Now, working alongside bars, clubs and festivals across the country, music recognition technology is helping to make this easier. 

A small music recognition device installed in participating venues, listens to the music a DJ plays and analyses it against a database of millions of individual sound recordings, creating highly accurate setlist information. PRS for Music then uses this setlist information to distribute royalties back to the creators of those works. 

Devices are installed quickly and securely by our qualified audio engineer, at no cost to the venue or promoter and can be adapted to accommodate almost all technical specifications.  

From a DJs point of view, music recognition technology is completely private and secure. The information captured will never be made public without consent and is only used to enable accurate royalty payments to the creators of the music you have played.  

The use of music recognition technology in venues has potential to grow. PRS for Music is calling for more venues to adopt the devices and encourages members to upload their audio files and metadata to chosen tech partner, DJ Monitor, to ensure continued positive progression for the future.  


As the UK’s largest late-night bar and club operator, we appreciate the challenges musicians face in terms of distribution rights and free music streaming. We are proud to offer them a platform to reach large audiences and showcase their talents.

Peter Marks, Chief Executive, The Deltic Group

This has been a long time coming and we’re pleased to be part of its launch in the UK. The use of music recognition technology at clubs, festivals and events enables the right artists and writers to get paid and is an important step in making sure the artists we love can continue to make the music we love.


If clubs adopt this technology, DJ sets can be monetised more efficiently, music creators will get paid more accurately and in turn can continue to make the music that fills our clubs and festivals. We all rely on each other, so it’s necessary that club owners, songwriters, artists and rightsholders understand and adapt to the changing climate and work together to keep all areas of the music industry alive.

Adrienne Bookbinder, Publishing & Repertoire Manager, Defected Records

With the amount of amazing music that’s performed in bars, clubs and at music festivals, it’s important that we have the right technology in the right places in order for songwriters, publishers, artists and labels to receive their well-deserved royalties.

Tony Colman aka London Elektricity, DJ and owner, Hospital Records

AFEM fully supports the use of Music Recognition Technology to identify the music played in venues so the associated royalties can be paid out more accurately to creators and rightsholders.

Greg Marshall, General Manager, Association for Electronic Music (AFEM)

Are you a PRS for Music member?

Are you now a customer of PPLPRS Ltd and have a licensing query? 

PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the new joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music, giving businesses in the UK access to over 22.2 million musical works. Your music licence is unaffected and entirely separate to this initiative. 

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