Update: PRS for Music Online Live Concert licence
The PRS for Music licence for ticketed online live gigs and concerts, which will apply while material restrictions apply to physical live concerts, has been updated:
- PRS for Music members performing their own work (where they control 100% of the rights) can now obtain a discretionary licence, no matter how much revenue is generated from the events.
- Small events generating up to £1,500 can now either obtain a fixed rate licence or apply for a bespoke rate linked to specific event revenues.
- The commitment to not retroactively seek licences from small-scale online live concerts has been extended to include all events which generated up to £1,500 in revenue that took place in 2020.
- All Online Live Concert licences will now allow viewing access for 72 hours, extended from 24 hours.
- An interim discounted rate of 10% (+VAT) will be applied to online live concerts while the physical sector is facing material restrictions on its ability to operate.
The changes to the existing Online Live Concert (OLC) licence follow a call-for-views and roundtables held with key stakeholders from across the industry including venues, event promoters, digital platforms, and PRS for Music members – songwriters, composers, and music publishers.
Nearly 2,000 responses to the call-for-views were received; 80% from PRS for Music members. Of the members who responded, 51% had held, or were planning to hold, an online live concert, while 54% reported having had their work performed by someone else.
The interim 10% (+VAT) discounted rate is designed to support the live music sector during this difficult time, while ensuring members, who themselves saw an 80% decline in live royalties in 2020, are paid when their music is used. The discounted rate will apply while material restrictions are in place for the live concert sector. After which, a permanent rate will be benchmarked against other online premium video and streaming services, reflecting both the rights exploited and the market in which they operate.
The OLC licence is available for pop gigs originating in the UK which are ticketed, sponsored or require a mandatory donation to access. For classical and theatrical events, we are in ongoing discussions with the sectors to determine whether variances are necessary to reflect differences in the way these events operate and are already licensed. Free events on platforms including YouTube and Facebook do not require an OLC licence, as they are usually covered by the platform’s licence.
A summary of the call-for-views and FAQs on the Online Live Concert licence can be found here.
We have had healthy debate on ticketed livestreamed events with key stakeholders across the industry representing venues, event promoters, digital platforms, and PRS members. Importantly, everyone agrees that songwriters must get paid when their songs are played and used.
Nearly 2,000 people answered our call-for-views on the topic, 80% of whom were PRS members. More than half (54%) of these songwriters said their work had been performed by someone else as part of a livestreamed concert. Songs are the heart of the music industry.
The discounted rate we are providing will ensure songwriters, composers and publishers are paid for their work, while allowing the emerging online live concert sector the freedom to innovate and grow. As the rate is competitive with those charged in other countries, it will help ensure the UK remains a great place to host live online concerts.
Throughout 2020, nearly 8,000 songwriters joined PRS for Music, that’s 22 every single day, and over five million songs and compositions were registered. We will continue to do everything we can to protect the livelihoods of our members, ensuring that their music is valued, whilst at the same time, giving the market the freedom to evolve.
About PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the rights of over 155,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation it works to ensure that creators are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2020, 22.4 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music with £650.5m collected on behalf of 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.