Members performing their own works in small online ticketed concert can obtain free licence

Listening to feedback from songwriter and composer members, PRS for Music has today announced a new provision to its small-scale Online Live Concert licence.

PRS for Music logo

This means that if a member wants to perform an online ticketed live concert exclusively of their own works, where they will receive all the royalties due, they can obtain a licence at no cost to them. The free licence will be available to any individual concert, which qualifies for the small-scale licence, with revenues below £500, throughout the period the live sector is forced to close due to the COVID-19 crisis where the qualifying member is the performer.      

In what is a rapidly developing part of the market the key benefits are: 

  • Allows performing writers the latitude to test the online concert market to find a model which works for them.  
  • Allows them to more easily hold a concert in support of others in the industry, such as charity gigs.   

Qualifying members can obtain a free PRS licence for small-scale online ticketed events by emailing

Today’s announcement is in addition to the decision previously announced that will not be seeking to historically license small-scale online concerts which took place throughout 2020. This means that any artist or venue which held a small online live concert will not have to obtain a licence retrospectively.   

PRS writer and composer members are, and will, continue to be heavily impacted by the closure of the live music sector, with royalties from live performance alone falling by between 70-80% in 2020, alongside significant declines in public performance income. With the online global ticketed livestreamed concerts market estimated to have generated $600 million in 2020, all parties acknowledge that the health of the whole music sector depends upon songwriters, composers and publishers getting a share of these new income streams.   

Today’s announcement follows the announcement last week of the new small-scale licence for online concerts, starting at £22.50. That has been designed to strike the right balance between providing a simplified licensing scheme for licensees while ensuring members get paid for the use of their works. It was informed by feedback received by PRS for Music over the last 9 months by those looking to stage these events and conversations with key stakeholders, including promoters and managers.  

PRS for Music will be accelerating its ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders on an interim rate, while the physical live sector is closed, for online concerts in the coming weeks. We are committed to agreeing a discounted rate for larger concerts as soon as possible to make these licences available to the market.  

PRS is also promoting its updated online live concerts Q&A where anybody interested in finding out about the various licensing options can find answers to all the commonly asked questions. This includes a reiteration that many members can hold non-ticketed events on platforms like YouTube and Instagram under the terms of the licence we have granted to the platform. 


There is universal support from across the music industry that songwriters, composers must be paid for the use of their work. PRS for Music represents 150,000 songwriter, composers and publishers from the UK and around the world. Live streamed concerts developed rapidly out of the pandemic and it is my job, in a fast changing market, to ensure they get paid fairly and efficiently at all times.

Andrea C. Martin, CEO, PRS for Music

We are committed to making sure that our songwriters, composers and publishers are well supported, so it is essential that all our members share in the value being generated by online livestreamed concerts when their songs are performed. “The change announced today we hope addresses many of the concerns expressed to us over the last few days. PRS will continue to listen to the views of our members in these most difficult of times.

Michelle Escoffery, President of the PRS Members’ Council

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 165,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers around the globe. Headquartered in the UK, it works diligently on behalf of its members to grow and protect the value of their rights. With a focus on innovation and integrity, PRS for Music is redefining the global standard for music royalties to ensure creators are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2022, PRS for Music collected £964m and paid out £836.2m in royalties.

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