Explaining how royalties are distributed to BBC radio stations

A lot of people have asked us how we distribute royalties from the deal PRS for Music has with the BBC. Here is a simple explanation using Radio Cymru and the BBC Asian Network to help explain how things are calculated.

Royalty payments per station are calculated using a station’s audience size and its reach. These figures are obtained from RAJAR.

More details can be accessed on RAJAR figures from

The BBC Asian Network royalty rate is £4.08 and the Radio Cymru rate is £0.52 per minute. We allocate royalties to the stations from the overall BBC deal as follows:

  • Half of this allocation is over the potential audience, half over the actual number of listeners
  • BBC Asian Network is aimed at a UK wide audience of 52 million with an actual audience of 584,000
  • Radio Cymru is aimed at a Welsh national audience of 2.5 million with an actual audience of 142,000
  • Radio Cymru also plays around 30% less music than BBC Asian Network
  • Therefore, given the BBC Asian Network had a potential number of listeners 20 times larger than Radio Cymru, and an actual listenership 4 times greater (as per RAJAR), the per minute rate is more

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 160,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and around the world. On behalf of its members, it works diligently to grow and protect the value of their rights and ensure that creators are paid transparently and efficiently whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2021, 27 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £677.2m paid out in royalties to its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.

PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.

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