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PRS for Music reports £3.8m year-on-year increase

The £132.4m payment represents a 3 percent increase on 2019.

Maya Radcliffe
  • By Maya Radcliffe
  • 15 Jul 2020
  • min read

PRS For Music has reported a £3.8 million year-on-year increase in its July royalty distribution but warns members about COVID-19’s impact on future revenue.

With the fall-off of music played in shops, cafes, restaurants and other public premises due to lockdown in late March, public performance revenue has seen a 2 percent decline compared to the same period last year. But it remains one of the highest revenue streams for PRS members in this payment.

As the cancellation of live music events has not yet affected PRS royalty distributions, public performance revenue is predicted to be one of the most heavily impacted revenue streams from October 2020 onwards.

In a bid to mitigate the financial impact faced by some members during this unprecedented and unpredictable time, PRS has increased processing of online revenue data to ensure the time from stream to payment is minimised wherever possible.

July’s distribution includes the largest ever distribution for YouTube User Generated Content as PRS for Music continues its mission to maximise member income in 2020 and beyond.

Andrea C. Martin, chief executive, PRS for Music, said: ‘As this distribution covers revenue collected mostly prior to Covid-19, we are only just starting to see the impact of the pandemic on royalty payments in July’s distribution. This will mean a further reduction in the royalties usually seen from Live, Public Performance, Commercial Radio, and International from October 2020 onwards.

‘We are doing everything we can to maximise return and minimise risk to future distributions for all of our members through this period of significant disruption. We have taken immediate action to make considerable cost savings including a recruitment freeze, reduced hours and salary reduction for some employees throughout the pandemic, cancellation of employee bonuses related to 2020 performance, and have cut back on all non-people costs wherever possible. Our PRS Emergency Relief Fund, in collaboration with our charity partners PRS Foundation and PRS Members’ Fund, also raised over £2.1m to help those members most in need throughout the crisis.

‘With over 3,600 new members joining PRS for Music so far this year, an increase of 18% on the first half of 2019, talent, creativity and productivity amongst songwriters and composers is thriving. We continue to work hard to ensure that we are distributing accurate and timely royalties, from every revenue stream, as quickly as possible. We are incredibly proud to have paid out over £368m in the first half of this year, up 13% on 2019, and thankful to our dedicated teams and experts working tirelessly to make this happen.’

Further details on how PRS for Music is supporting its members through the coronavirus pandemic can be found here.