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PRS for Music launches new Online Live Concert licence

The portal has been launched in response to the huge rise in livestreamed concerts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • 27 Jan 2021
  • min read

PRS for Music has today launched a new licensing portal for music creators, venues and promoters wanting to stage and livestream small-scale gigs, DJ events, classical concerts and theatrical events online

Available for live online events staged in the UK with revenues below £500, the new portal will allow the event organiser to pay the fixed licence fee and obtain the necessary rights for their event simply and quickly.  

PRS for Music will not be actively pursuing licences for livestreamed events that took place prior to the launch of the new portal, which would have qualified for the fixed fee licence. 

Online live concerts are a form of video exploitation and require a licence for the same rights as any other type of online music usage. In normal circumstances, online live concerts are an incremental revenue stream to live performance. PRS for Music, however, recognises that as long as the physical live sector remains closed, livestreamed concerts, whilst still a different form of exploitation to a physical gig or concert, are in part substitutional for physical gigs and concerts.

As such, PRS for Music is proposing to apply temporary discounted rates until the live sector can reopen. Conversations are active and ongoing with major licensees about the details of such discounted rates. In the meantime, anyone considering planning an online ticketed music event that does not qualify for the fixed fee licence is encouraged to contact the PRS for Music licensing team who can offer bespoke advice on licensing options.    

PRS for Music is proactively in discussion with other societies to deliver licensing solutions for UK based gigs and concerts which might be accessed internationally. A global blanket licence of this type would be the first of its kind within the collecting society network.      

PRS for Music is encouraging members to access its brand-new educational webpage to find out more about how they can capitalise on their livestreamed gigs and how to ensure they are properly licensed. 

Andrea Martin, chief executive, PRS for Music, said: ‘We recognise the importance of providing simple licensing solutions wherever possible and the licensing portal for small-scale online events is an example of this. We are continuing to work hard to agree a range of licensing options for providers of larger events, including a proposed discounted rate during the pandemic. This is a part of the market which has seen exponential growth and is itself constantly evolving, meeting the expectations for worldwide blanket licences is alone no small feat, but we are committed to finding solutions which ensure members can be paid fairly when their works are performed.’

John Truelove, writer director, PRS Members’ Council, said: ‘Composers and songwriters have faced monumental challenges this past year. So, the huge surge in the online live concert market beyond anyone’s expectations, is positive news all round. It is great that so many artists are performing online concerts to stay connected with fans, to earn a living, and to promote new releases. Anyone wanting to hold small online ticketed gigs can now get a PRS licence in a simple and straightforward way. This will create even more opportunities for artists, musicians and writers to thrive together while ensuring that songwriters and composers are being properly paid when their music is performed.’