In a move that has proven to be instantly unpopular with musicians, venues, promoters and music organisations the collection agency, PRS has decided in December. to unilaterally impose a livestreaming tariff retrospectively on bigger events throwing many into financial chaos.
It’s hard enough creating events in these times with the pandemic and Brexit without the PRS demanding a cut of the gross potentially throwing events into deeper debt.
Today their follow up move announced via a PRS press release, is that they were unilaterally imposing a new tariff for small online live concerts. The full details arehere but in short, the lowest rate is 9% and the licence creates a scenario where performers could be required to pay more than 100% of gross ticket revenue to PRS, for performing their own songs. This is devastating for many grassroots artists who have struggled to survive in the last 10+ months and sets an unwelcome precedent for our wider, ongoing discussion on larger, ticketed, live-streamed events.
How they think events which work on threadbare margined can survive shows how out of touch they are with the reality of music. Sat in their expensive London offices they seem a long way away from the people who stick their necks on the line making things happen.
How can they justify these tariffs? Where does the money go? Surely not on big salaries? How do they get the authority to create these tariffs by themselves? Is it time for reform ?