A petition by musician trade body Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), which called on collection society PRS for Music to reconsider its funding cuts to its PRS Foundation, has received more than 1,000 signatures.
Artists such as Sam Fender (pictured), Anna Calvi and Wolf Alice’s Joff Oddie have called on the collection society to reverse the decision, which plans to slash the foundation’s funding by 60% (from £2.5m to £1m) after 2024.
According to FAC, PRS for Music’s £2.5m donation to the foundation, which is the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development, represents just 0.32% of the society’s collections.
It said this is significantly less than equivalent donations made by PRS’ European counterparts, such as French collection society SACEM, which donated €32.4m (£27.4m) for cultural and artistic projects in 2019. While Germany donated up to 10% of its collections for social and cultural purposes.
The signatories have called on PRS to redistribute some of the millions of pounds in unmatched “black box” royalties which the society collects, where the owner of a song or composition cannot be traced, and use this revenue to increase funding for the foundation and other grassroots causes.
FAC CEO David Martin said, “Funding from the PRS Foundation has become absolutely essential for thousands of UK songwriters and artists. In the wake of Covid-19’s catastrophic impacts, as well as the wider economic situation, this is a terrible moment to be making cuts.
“There is, however, a potential solution. Rerouting some of the millions of pounds of unmatched black box revenues collected by PRS would surely provide an opportunity to actually increase the foundation’s funding. If the PRS Members’ Council agreed this course of action, it could be one of the most significant ever investments in UK talent.”