PRS For Music’s announcement that livestreams will attract a backdated ‘interim tariff’ of 10% of gross revenue is considered by the Music Manager’s Forum (MMF) and Featured Artist Coalition (FAC) to be potentially damaging for many artists who have livestreamed during the pandemic.
The collection society’s 10% tariff is more than twice the 4.2% levied on ticket sales at in-person live shows and higher than the 8% tariff it proposed in late 2020.
PRS said an interim discounted rate of 10% (+VAT) will be applied to streamed live concerts while the physical events sector is “facing material restrictions on its ability to operate”.
The organisation’s original proposal for up to 17% of gross ticket receipts was met with a hostile response from the live music industry.
PRS for Music members performing their own work, where they control 100% of the rights, can now obtain a discretionary licence, no matter how much revenue is generated from the events.
Small events generating up to £1,500 can obtain a fixed rate licence or apply for a bespoke rate linked to specific event revenues.
The organisation said its commitment to not retroactively seek licences from small-scale online live concerts has been extended to include all events which generated up to £1,500 in revenue that took place in 2020.
All Online Live Concert licences will now allow viewing access for 72 hours, extended from 24 hours.
MMF and FAC said the 10% rate 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 licensing 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.”