Local authorities FAQ

What are you announcing today?

PRS for Music is launching a formal consultation on a newly proposed tariff to simplify the licensing of its members copyright music within premises owned and managed by or on behalf of local authorities and town and other councils (“local authorities”).

What is the purpose of this consultation?

PRS for Music is running this consultation, reflecting our intention to simplify how we license this sector. We have recently embarked on an extensive programme to review and simplify over 40 public performance tariffs. The aim of this project is to create tariffs that are easy to understand and operate. The purpose of this consultation is to publish the proposed tariff and invite views on the proposal from those who would be affected.

How have you approached this consultation?

New and/or significant amendments to tariffs are undertaken in line with our published Code of Conduct, which requires us to operate fair, reasonable and proportionate consultations. On this specific consultation we have undertaken comprehensive internal analysis and key stakeholder consultation to develop proposals that promote simplicity and transparency for both our customers and members.

What does the PRS for Music local authorities Tariff cover?

The tariff covers the majority of music usage within local authority-run premises. Examples of the types of premises to be covered by the tariff include community centres, workplaces/offices, children’s centres, markets, town halls, adult education centres and youth clubs.

What is the expected impact of the proposed Tariff on local authorities?

We are proposing to make it easier for local authorities to comply with the requirements of their PRS for Music licences by:

  1. Reducing the administrative burden associated with the number of tariffs currently applied to local authorities.
  2. Simplifying and reducing the number of questions required to be answered by a local authority in order to enable PRS for Music to calculate the licence fees payable by the authority.

We have designed the tariff to help make the annual licence review process more user friendly and less complex, whilst remaining broadly cost neutral for the average local authority (although variances for some local authorities customers may occur when moving to the new tariff).

You appear to have just simplified your background music fees?

Background music usage is common throughout most licensed local authorities. As a result, we have simplified and reorganised the structure of these fees in order to reduce the current administration required by local authorities when collating information regarding background music. We propose to use a single metric (as opposed to the multiple metrics currently used) in order to make our fees easier to understand.

Individual bolt on fees from the tariff and fees from separate tariffs will be applied to reflect the differing levels and frequencies of this usage across many local authorities. For example, music on hold will continue to be charged using our bespoke tariff (Tariff MH).

Why has PRS for Music chosen not to base the entire tariff on a single metric e.g. the number of residents in a local authority?

We tested several ‘simpler’ tariff models during our review of local authorities licensing, including one tariff model based on the number of households in a local authority region. However, we discovered that applying each of these simpler tariffs models resulted in significant variations in the annual licence fees paid for our local authorities customers. The proposed tariff reduces much of the current complexities whilst remaining broadly cost neutral for our local authorities customers.

How will you distribute royalties received from un-managed busking?

PRS for Music will apply its ‘general live’ distribution policy used to distribute royalties collected from licensed venues for non-ticketed live events or sessions, typically in pubs, clubs and hotels. We currently commission a market research company to visit a sample of these licensed events (over 1000 a year) and report on the tracks performed. This information is fed back to us to aid our distribution of royalties.

How do people take part in the consultation?

To participate, respondents should go to www.prsformusic.com/local-authorities to familiarise themselves with the relevant documentation and for details on how to respond. All relevant parties are also being contacted directly via email.

Where can I find the PRS for Music Code of Conduct?

Our Code of Conduct is published on the PRS for Music website.

What is the timescale and when will you be publishing your findings?

The local authorities tariff consultation runs for 8 weeks. The deadline for responses is 17 August 2016. Following this, we will review all responses thoroughly and publish a summary on our website.

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

There are a number of 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 licence fees collected as accurately and efficiently as possible. Nearly 90 percent 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.

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.

View the Distribution Policy

How can I put my opinion forward?

We value your feedback and encourage you to submit your responses via our online response form questionnaire. Alternatively, you can download the questionnaire response form and email it to us at LA.consultation@prsformusic.com by 17th August 2016.

I still have a question about the Local Authorities tariff consultation.

If you have a question or require further assistance in responding to the Local Authorities consultation, please email LA.consultation@prsformusic.com or phone +44 0203 741 3886.