FAC & MMF joint response to PRS update on Online Live Concert Royalties

07 May 2021

PRS for Music’s announcement today that livestreams will attract a backdated ‘interim tariff’ of 10% of gross revenue, has the potential to be damaging for many artists who have livestreamed during the pandemic.

For most this was the only way in over a year that artists were able to connect with fans, earn some income and employ their crew  We called for PRS to acknowledge this when setting their tariff.  The proposed levy is considerably higher than the initial 8% tariff proposed by PRS in late 2020, and more than twice the rate for physical live shows. This rate completely disregards the feedback that PRS received in its ‘call for views’. The responses, which by PRS’s own admission were almost five times more in number than any other consultation they have carried out, make the case for a significantly discounted rate while COVID restrictions remain.

There are some positive changes announced today, particularly at a grassroots level. We welcome global licencing of livestreams as far as possible, but advise that artists and promoters wait until this is formally agreed until fees are paid over to avoid double claims on this income.

MMF and FAC believe that the high level of backdated tariffs for online shows will be widely viewed as unjustifiable. This hits those artists in the middle the hardest and certainly cannot be construed as a ‘discount’.

We urge PRS to reconsider and come back with fair and reasonable proposals that the whole industry, including their own members, can benefit from.

Annabella Coldrick, Chief Executive, MMF & David Martin, CEO, FAC

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