April 2022 Distribution update

The April main distribution was paid to members on Thursday 14 April.

Overall, the April distribution value was 3% higher than April 2021. This was mainly due to the recovery of Public Performance and Public Reception revenues and an increase in General Entertainment Online (also known as GEOL). We’ve seen continued growth from SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand which is also part of GEOL) royalties such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, driven by increases in consumer numbers and available content, and this has been bolstered by royalties flowing through from the new Disney+ and Apple+ licences (which we began to pay out in December 2021).

Post-pandemic advertising spend on radio  recovered better than anticipated and, as the amount the licensee pays to PRS is based on the percentage of radio advertising, we have seen this reflected in an increase in Commercial Radio royalties to members.

This distribution also contained the Commercial Radio year-end reconciliation. A reconciliation distribution refers to the royalties we pay out when there is money remaining at the end of the licence year. This happens as we initially estimate how much music our broadcast licensees plan to use, and we hold back money just in case they play more music on their channels than expected. Sometimes, there will be a sum of money left over which can be paid out and we call this a reconciliation distribution.

There are some delays with TV royalties, notably with the Discovery Channels and Columbia. Please see the section below for more information on this.

We have started to see the return of big-name artists announcing international major live concerts, with the majority of the events taking place over the summer. We expect the royalties from these to filter through to distributions from mid-year onwards.

International payments are down mainly due to a lack of royalties from French music usage from the French collecting society SACEM. This is due to the ongoing discussions surrounding Withholding Tax.

The data which tells us what music was used on Classic FM and Classic FM Digital was delayed reaching us. We have processed as much as we can in order to include some of the royalties in the April distribution and the remainder will be paid in July. After checking in with several members affected, we felt this was better than waiting to pay out the entire amount in July.

  • Spotify (MTOL) residuals - Q1 2020
  • Netflix – Q3 2021
  • Public Performance – Q4 2021
  • Public Reception – Q4 2021 – these are royalties paid when music is played on radio and TV in public places such as pubs, cafés, hotels, hairdressers etc.
  • Royalties from American society ASCAP – Q1 & Q2 2021 
  • YouTube Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) Q3 2019 - Q4 2020 – work has been completed following delays and the associated technical work required with the usage data reports.
  • Amazon Music (Downloads) - Q2 2021
  • Microsoft Xbox GEOL Q4 2020 - Q2 2021 – The new licence has now been agreed and so royalties can be paid out.

We’re aiming to pay all the royalties listed below in the July 2022 distribution:

  • Columbia 2016 - 2020 – Licensing discussions are ongoing for this service and the contract has not yet been signed.
  • Discovery Q4 2021 - Incomplete data received from the licensee means that not all mechanical usage has been paid. Distribution is expected in July 2022.
  • Sky GEOL Q3 2021 - Delays in receiving the data from the licensee mean this will be paid in the next main distribution.
  • Deezer Q1 - Q3 2021 – More time is required to process these royalties.
  • YouTube SVOD Q1 & Q2 2021 – More time is required to process these royalties.
  • BT Vision GEOD (General Entertainment on Demand) Q1 2019 – Q2 2021 – Licensing discussions remain ongoing for this service and the final contract has not yet been signed.
  • Amazon Unlimited Q3 2021 – More time is required to process the invoices necessary to pay members.
  • Amazon Prime Q1 and Q3 2021 – We’re unable to pay these royalties as we have not yet received the necessary usage data to enable a distribution. Also, for music used between Q4 2020 - Q3 2021 we are awaiting licensing revenue in order to pay out the royalties to members.
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