Local authorities, councils and community services

PRS for Music concluded a consultation in 2016 with local authorities on the introduction of a dedicated tariff covering the use of PRS for Music repertoire in local authorities and councils.

Following that consultation, PRS for Music has developed a new tariff for local authorities (LA) which will come into effect on the 1st April 2020.

Formal notice of the effective date of change will be sent to customers. The new tariff and the full response to the consultation is available below.

What’s changing?

On 1st April 2020, PRS for Music will be introducing a new local authorities, councils and community services tariff (Tariff LA). The new tariff contains a simpler set of royalty rates and as a result, local authorities will be required to declare less information to calculate their annual royalty rate.

What is covered by the new tariff?

The tariff covers most of the music usage within local government-run premises. This includes premises run by local authorities, county councils, district boroughs, city councils, unitary authorities, London and metropolitan borough, parish councils, town councils and community councils.

Examples of the types of premises to be covered by the tariff include children’s centres and family centres, youth clubs, community centres, town halls & civic halls, assembly halls, libraries, adult education centres, tourist information centres, museums, markets, bus stations and arts centres.

What are the key aspects of the tariff?

The Tariff LA contains two main charging elements

  1. Core Music
  2. Bolt-on Music

What is Core Music usage?

The Core Music royalty rate in Tariff LA allows unlimited use of background music (via a TV, radio, film or other media player) throughout the year. The rate is based upon the area of the premises, measured wall to wall in square metres where music is audible, i.e. the “audible area”. This replaces the multiple metrics previously used.

PRS for Music has not included different fees for specific audio and audio-visual devices in the tariff.

The Core Music royalty rate can be applied to cover the use of background music in several types of local authority and council premises including:

  • Children’s and family centres
  • Youth clubs
  • Community centres, town halls & civic halls
  • Assembly halls
  • Libraries
  • Adult education centres
  • Tourist information centres & attractions, museums
  • Markets
  • Bus stations
  • Arts centres

What is Bolt-on Music usage?

Individual Bolt-on Music rates from Tariff LA and rates from other PRS for Music tariffs will be applied to reflect the differing levels and frequencies of this usage across many local authorities and councils. For example, a film screening in an arts centre will be licensed using the film show Bolt-on Music rate within Tariff LA. A ticketed performance of live music in a park will be licensed under our Popular music concerts Tariff (Tariff LP).

What premises and/or performances of music will continue to be licensed using PRS for Music’s standard tariffs?

  • Leisure centres, gyms and any fitness classes & dance lessons. This includes premises run by a local government authority or a third-party provider (Fitness & Dance Tariff)
  • Nurseries (Nurseries Tariff)
  • Workplaces (Music in the Workplace Tariff)
  • Sporting events at sports grounds, racetracks and stadiums (Sports events at sports grounds, racetracks and stadiums Tariff)
  • Skating rinks (Skating Rinks Tariff)
  • Telephone on hold music (Telephone Music on hold Tariff)
  • Community buildings run by voluntary organisations (Community Buildings Tariff)
  • Ticketed popular concerts (Popular Music Concert Tariff)
  • Ticketed classical concerts and recitals (Classical music concerts & recitals Tariff)

All of the above PRS for Music tariffs can all be viewed on the PRSPPL Ltd tariffs page here

What happens to the licence fees collected by PRS for Music?

There are several methods to track the music being played in different environments including surveys on businesses and by tracking radio play that allows us to distribute the rates collected as accurately and efficiently as possible. Nearly 90 percent of all the money collected goes to the songwriters, composers and publishers of the music - we just deduct our running costs.

When does PRS for Music distribute the royalties?

PRS for Music 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.

The PRS for Music consultation issued in 2016 referred to different charges.

The charges provided in the consultation were charges applicable in 2015, however, the consultation paper indicated the charges were indicative and subject to adjustment by PRS for Music prior to implementation of the new Tariff LA.

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