Industry reaches agreement on new live music licensing terms

The Copyright Tribunal has approved the terms of a new live music agreement following three years of discussions between PRS and representatives of the live sector.

PRS launched a consultation on Tariff LP, which applies to live music events, with PRS members, licensees, stakeholders and live sector industry bodies, in April 2015. Agreement on the terms of a new Tariff LP was reached in July 2017 with major industry bodies representing the live sector including; the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), British Association of Concert Halls (BACH), Concert Promoters’ Association (CPA), Glastonbury Festivals Limited, Music Venue Trust (MVT), National Arenas Association (NAA), Society of London Theatre (SOLT), and the UK Theatre Association.

Terms of the agreed new tariff were subsequently submitted to and approved by the Copyright Tribunal and will become effective from June 1, 2018.

The key amendments to the tariff include:

  • The royalty rate for concerts and all other live music events within the scope of Tariff LP, will increase from three per cent to four per cent, except for festivals that meet certain criteria.
  • There will be a new royalty rate within the tariff for festivals that meet certain criteria which recognises specific considerations for festivals. For these qualifying festivals the royalty rate will reduce from three per cent to 2.5 per cent.
  • The minimum fee charged for events will be waived entirely, providing that music reporting requirements are met.
  • The incorporation of a direct licensing mechanism, as agreed with the live sector.

Paul Clements, executive director of membership, international and licensing, PRS for Music, said: “By working together with our colleagues across the live sector we have successfully negotiated an agreed outcome for all parties and I’m very pleased that the Copyright Tribunal has now approved the terms, as agreed between PRS and the Live sector representatives.

“We have reached an agreement which not only recognises and rewards the huge contribution made by our songwriter and composer members to the live industry but, as importantly, recognises the different needs and strengths of the thousands of venues and events across the UK that are critical to the ongoing sustainability and diversity of the UK live music scene.”

Phil Bowdery, chairman of the Concert Promoters’ Association, added: “We have all worked hard to reach this agreement. It recognises the importance of the live industry but also, what is of huge significance, is that it recognises the sector’s diversity. By coming to this agreement, and the recognition of the common ground we share, we believe it works in the best interests of all parties involved.”

PRS is currently undergoing its communication period to notify existing Tariff LP licensees of the tribunal order and how the newly updated tariff will affect them. PRS will also continue to work closely with representatives of the live sector to evaluate and assess developments across the live music industry and how they may affect the operation of the new tariff terms.