PRS for Music release 2014 financial results

PRS for Music maintains year on year growth despite challenging overseas market conditions

PRS for Music, the organisation that represents 111,000 music creators in the UK and two million worldwide, today published its financial results for 2014, recording combined royalty income across PRS and MCPS of £664.3m. This was an increase on 2013 of nearly 1% on a constant currency basis across PRS for Music’s revenue streams which include International, Public Performance, Television and Radio, Online and Recorded Media.

This growth was achieved with a cost to revenue ratio of 11.4%, one of the lowest rates in the world.

The popularity of UK songwriters and composers’ repertoires continues across the globe and drives significant export revenue, with £188.2 million in royalties collected by PRS for Music from overseas markets. Mumford & Sons, Sam Smith and James Napier, Disclosure, Charli XCX and Ed Sheeran were notably successful global exports in 2014.  Despite the harsh global economic environment - particularly across the Eurozone - PRS for Music maintained its export position on a constant currency basis delivering nearly £1 million more than 2013.  Revenue from emerging markets grew in significance as Latin America, Africa and the Middle East delivered 37.8% growth on 2013, while Asia Pacific, dominated by the developed markets of Australia and Japan, showed growth of 2.2% on a constant currency basis.

Revenue from the public performance of music rose by £6m to a new high of £168.3m.  There were increases across all major tariff areas with the exception of pubs and clubs which continues to show a decline in the use of music. 2014 saw a strong roster of concerts with over 30,000 events licensed.  PRS for Music also saw growth in the cinema sector following the conclusion of monitoring initiatives which resulted in an 11.5% rise in conjunction with efficiency improvements.

Television and radio continued to provide significant income to PRS for Music members with revenues of £165m, an increase of 2.9% on 2013. Commercial radio - driven by a recovery of the advertising market – helped radio revenues grow by 3.3% to £49m, while new licences with 25 television channels including Bollywood broadcaster B4U and 13 local TV channels contributed to the growth.

The online market contributed £79.7m, an increase of 17.5% or £11.9m year-on-year. Revenues from the licensing of on demand TV and film services have grown strongly in 2014 with new deals established with Netflix, Microsoft Xbox, and Sony Playstation. Online royalties outstripped the royalties collected from the declining physical product sector for the first time, and royalties from streaming services (£38.8m) also exceeded those of downloads (£26.7m) for the first time. With the transition from downloads to streaming there was a corresponding increase in the volume of usage data processed from 136 billion to 250 billion individual usages.

The recorded media market delivered £63.1m, which was 21.8% down from 2013 due to the well understood and continuing migration from physical product to online.


Despite the impact of a challenging economic backdrop in key international territories, a strong pound and the decline of the physical market, we managed to achieve our budgeted revenues in 2014. We work hard to provide an outstanding service to members with the lowest possible charge to them. Despite the potential disruption of two office moves, a major systems upgrade and a dramatic increase in the volume of music usage to process we managed to contain our costs to within budgeted levels while at the same time increasing our distribution frequency to ensure that the money reached our members more swiftly than ever before. Though there remains much more to be done as we modernise PRS for Music’s operations, this was nonetheless a landmark performance in our centenary year.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music

The 2014 PRS financial results will be presented at the Annual General Meeting at the British Library Conference Centre on 19 May 2015.

Notes for Editors:

The figures presented in this press release are based on the audited financial statement of Performing Right Society Limited (PRS) and Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Limited (MCPS), separate legal entities with separate board and management structures. PRS for Music Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of PRS that provides operational services to PRS and also to MCPS through a services agreement.

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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