Business News Labels & Publishers Media

PRS admits change to BBC licence badly communicated

By | Published on Thursday 6 October 2011

PRS For Music

Music publishers are “fuming” apparently, I do hope their offices are well ventilated. According to a Music Week investigation, it turns out that the publishing sector’s collecting society PRS For Music failed to properly communicate the impact of a change in the way it collects and distribute some royalties from the BBC for music used in both TV and radio.

The new licensing deal with the Beeb means the Corporation now pays one royalty fee to cover both performance and so called mechanical rights (traditionally these were paid separately, the former to PRS and the latter to MCPS, which is now essentially a division of PRS). This in turn has resulted in a change in the way money is allocated to songwriters, composers and publishers, which, Music Week claims, favours those whose music is used on TV versus those whose work is used by radio, in particular impacting negatively on those who own rights in jingles.

PRS has admitted that it failed to properly communicate the implications of the new BBC agreement. Membership Director Mark Lawrence told Music Week: “We were slow out of the block to contact our members and for this we can only apologise. In trying to do the right thing, we have failed to communicate to our members what we have done”. An emergency meeting will now be held next week for members to discuss the issue.

For more background to the change, and for some people slagging off the PRS, check the full Music Week story here.