PRS for Music launches live music consultation

A commitment to reduce rates for small venues and mixed arts festivals

PRS for Music has announced the start of a formal customer consultation on its royalty rates for popular music events in the UK. The rate – currently set at 3% of ticket receipts – was last reviewed in 1988. This is one of the lowest rates in the world with charges of up to 10% being applied in other European countries.

Following calls from key stakeholders and some customer groups within the sector to review the tariff, PRS for Music will begin its 12 week consultation on June 15th.   

Jeremy Fabinyi, Executive Director Licensing, PRS for Music said: “As the organisation that represents the creators behind the music, it is right that we continually review our charges and approach, ensuring there is a fair balance between music users and creators. The live music industry has changed considerably in the last twenty years and this consultation will be open to everyone, to discuss the changes and whether the current tariff structure is relevant for today’s live scene in the UK.” 

PRS for Music has already been listening to customer views. Vocal in their desire to see change have been festivals and smaller venues who believe that different charging methods should apply to their events, compared with larger concerts. PRS for Music has proposed a number of concessions in the consultation, reducing charges for certain events.

Jeremy Fabinyi, added: “We all know the live industry has thrived and is a huge success story in the UK and globally. The world we all operate in now is a far removed one from that of 1988; we need to ensure that the right licensing approaches are in place to ensure the future success of live music in the UK.” 

Consumer spending on live music was calculated as £1.45bn in 2009, up 4% on the previous year and over the last twenty years the economics of live have changed considerably. Secondary ticketing now plays a major role and the industry has been successful in growing ancillary revenues, through, for example, sponsorship, booking fees and food and drink sales.