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July 2021 distribution

As you may know, we pay out Live and Public Performance royalties six months after a work is performed, played or used. Due to the lockdown restrictions at the beginning of the year, in the July distribution we continued to see significant declines for Live, Public Performance and MSB2B royalties as many venues and businesses remained closed.  

The Government announced the extension of COVID-19 restrictions in England until 19 July and royalties will therefore continue to be affected in the remaining 2021 distributions. The music industry is significantly impacted by these restrictions with the continued closure of nightclubs and limits on attendees for live performances and events. You can find out more about the current restrictions and what that means for musicians on the Musicians Union website

As restrictions lift and businesses begin to reopen, together with PPLPRS, we are focused on making sure that music creators receive the royalties they are due. 

Despite the decreases outlined above, there were continued increases in other revenue streams, notably online video services and streaming platforms.  

This distribution (July 2021) included payment from the five major online Digital Service Providers (DSPs): Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube Music. In total, in this distribution we paid out royalties from 13 different DSPs.  

This distribution also included payments to PRS and MCPS members under the 2019/20 Television and Film (Audio Visual – AV) Year End reconciliation. We pay out what we call a ‘Year End reconciliation’ when more revenue is collected from a specific revenue source than is paid out in royalty distributions for that period. You can read more about Year End reconciliation on page five of our distribution rules.  

MCPS members who received royalties in 2020 may have also received pro rata royalties from MCPS’ excess commission. You can find out more about it in our newsfeed article

  • Broadcast AV 2019/20 Year End reconciliation - If you’ve previously received PRS or MCPS royalties from AV usage, paid between July 2020 to April 2021, you may have received a top-up.  
  • Film, Online and General & Broadcast 2020 royalties from SIAE (Italian collecting society) – Data has been processed and the issues with withholding tax which prevented the April distribution have now been resolved, therefore two quarters of SIAE revenue were distributed in July 2021. 

Royalties from music used on:

  • BFI Player for Q1 2020 to Q3 2020 – this was originally due to be paid in October 2020. 
  • Britbox for Q4 2019 to Q3 2020 – this was originally due to be paid in July 2020. 
  • MSM Asia for Q1 2020 to Q4 2020 – this was originally due to be paid in July 2020. 
  • PlayStation GEOL for Q3 2015 to Q4 2018 – this was originally due to be paid in April 2016. 
  • Rakuten GEOL for Q1 2020 to Q3 2020 – this was originally due to be paid in October 2020. 
  • Spotify GEOL for Q1 2018 to Q3 2020 – this was originally due to be paid in October 2019. 
  • TalkTalk GEOL for Q3 2017 to Q3 2020 – this was originally due to be paid in April 2018. 
  • SIAE (Italian Collecting Society) for 2018 and 2019 usage (small amounts from 2016/17) – previous issues with withholding tax have been resolved meaning the held royalties have now been paid out. 

Royalties from music used on:

  • Disney+ and Apple TV (General Entertainment Online Licence – GEOL) – Licensing discussions are ongoing for both services which means we were unable to pay Apple TV (GEOL) Download and Rental for Q1 to Q4 2020 and Disney+ Q2 and Q4 2020. We're aiming to include these payments, where possible, in the October 2021 main distribution. 
  • Disney Audio Visual (AV) Q1 2021 – We were unable to pay these broadcast TV royalties as we have not yet received the necessary usage data to enable a distribution. We're aiming to include these payments, where possible, in the October 2021 main distribution. 
  • BT Vision GEOD (General Entertainment on Demand) for Q1 2019 to Q4 2020 – Licensing discussions are ongoing for this service and the contract has not yet been signed. We’re expecting a signed contract and invoices raised and paid in time for distribution in October 2021. 
  • Microsoft Xbox GEOL Q4 2020 – Licensing discussions are ongoing for this period and not finalised. We’re expecting the contract to be finalised and invoices raised and paid in time for distribution in October 2021. 
  • Various Public Performance Q1 2021 –  
    Inevitably, due to lockdown and pandemic restrictions, royalties were affected and we did not pay out Public Reception* royalties for Q1 2021. This is because we don’t yet have an accurate picture of the money available to pay out in royalties. During this period the majority of businesses remained closed and of those that were able to open, restrictions on how they could operate varied. It is therefore taking longer than usual to gain a clear understanding of what should be paid out.

    *Public Reception relates to royalties from music used on TVs and radios in licensed premises, such pubs, restaurants or cafés (see page 7 of our distribution rules for more information). 

    South Asian, Chinese & Thai Restaurants, Jukeboxes, DJ Events, Karaoke, Fitness & Dance, UK Restaurants & Café and UK General Recorded (Pubs) were kept on hold for the July 2021 distribution because so little usage took place over this period due to the measures to control the pandemic. We had minimal licence fee to distribute as well as very limited data of what music, if any, was used.  

We’re aiming to include these payments in the next main distribution where possible.

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