The letter is co-signed by more than 50 music managers, including representatives of Dua Lipa, Biffy Clyro, Liam Gallagher, Bicep, Fontaines D.C., Gorillaz, Yungblud, and Arlo Parks, as well as FAC member artists and songwriters including Ed O’Brien, Aluna Francis, Graeme Park, Dave Rowntree, Sandie Shaw MBE and Simone Butler.
During the pandemic, ticketed livestream shows have been a lifeline for many artists and their teams. They have provided employment for crew, helped keep venues open and represent a new source of revenue for songwriters.
Everyone wants this format to succeed.
However, without consultation and in the midst of a global pandemic, PRS have determined that ticketed or sponsored livestream events should be subject to a tariff of between 8% and 17% of gross revenues.
That’s compared to 4.2% charged at normal “in-person” live shows.
PRS intend to levy this charge retrospectively.
We believe everyone in the industry should be working together to ensure artists and songwriters benefit from livestreaming – but these onerous terms will make livestream shows unworkable. It is also remains unclear if PRS are even in a position to mandate a global licence for livestream events hosted in the UK.
For over two weeks, MMF and FAC have been engaging with PRS asking for a full and transparent consultation, but to no avail. Instead, they have started to speak publicly about this new rate.
Subsequently, we are now making our position public.
We are also inviting more managers and artists to add their signatures to this letter, calling for a full and transparent consultation to determine a more viable rate.
Until a consultation is concluded, we are working on the basis that the existing live rate should also be applicable to these ticketed livestream events.
PRS are rolling out what they call a “temporary experimental and non-precedential rate structure”.
In effect, this would see PRS impose tariffs on a banded scale – starting at 8% on livestream events grossing up to £50,000, and rising to 17% on livestream events grossing more than £450,000 from ticket sales.
The proposed (experimental) PRS rate structure is as follows:
The Royalty Fee shall be the higher of:
(a) a percentage of the Gross Revenue, with the percentage rates as follows:
|For revenues between||Royalty Rate|
|Up to £50k||8%|
|£50k and £100k||9%|
|£100k and £150k||10%|
|£150k and £200k||11%|
|£200k and £250k||12%|
|£250k and £300k||13%|
|£300k and £350k||14%|
|£350k and £400k||15%|
|£400k and £450k||16%|
|More than £450k||17%|
(b) a minimum royalty of £0.03 per Repertoire Work streamed per viewer.
The rates in the table are progressive, meaning that the higher rate only applies to the revenues within the relevant banding.
So for example, the Royalty Fee payable for a Licensed Event with a Gross
Revenue of £125k would be:
£50k at 8% = £4k
£50k at 9% = £4.5k
£25k at 10% = £2.5k
Total royalty = £11k
By way of example, the minimum royalty is calculated as follows: If 15 Repertoire Works were streamed and there were 5,000 viewers, then the minimum royalty would be £2,250.