PRS is one of the leading organizations in music distribution in the UK and now they have been receiving record levels of money from broadcasters, which of course is fabulous news for artists. Since they were established in 1914, by a group of music publishers including William Boosey and Oliver Hawkes, they understood the value of copyright for musicians and so aided composers, publishers and performers alike to earn a decent amount of money from their craft.
Who Are PRS For Music?
PRS deals with public broadcasting – they are the Performing Rights Society and one of the leading UK funders for musicians and talent. It is a non-profit organization that claims all broadcast royalties on behalf of musicians, for music played in public. This could be in stores and retail, or any other live broadcast. All places that play music publicly, even radio, should have a PRS license – although many try to get out of it.
PRS sells blanket licenses to retail outlets and similar so they can play music publicly.
The PRS Foundation champions funding for artists in the UK and it helps new talent be seen. Since 2000, when it was established it has funded more than £14 million in grants and gone on to fund artists such as Arlo Parks, Wolf Alice, Years & Years and Sa, Fender to name just a few. It is important to add that 8 out of the 12 Mercury Prize 2021 nominees received grants from the PRS Foundation and many of the artists which they have helped have gone on to be BRITS, RPS, AIM and Ivors Award-winners. They truly are unstoppable when it comes to grants for musicians in the UK and the statistics support this.
They offer open grants schemes that are available 4 times a year to all musicians and organizations. These include; Open Funding, Momentum Funding, International Showcase Fund, Women Make Music, Bliss Trust Composer Bursaries. These all range from aiding emerging talent, giving grants of £5-15k to those who need to make the next step in their career, talent performing to a larger audience across the UK, giving women the opportunity to create music and also partnering with the Bliss Trust to enable new composers to be seen and heard around the UK.
This initiative backs new emerging artists and those who are more established in the industry. These intimate gigs have showcased artists like Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Idles and Tom Walker to name a few, in small-scale venues. These allow artists to breakthrough and give audiences an opportunity to see what they have created. The main goal is championing new music and creating a platform for talent just waiting to perform.
The next PRS Presents in collaboration with PRS Foundation, takes place during PRS Members’ Day Manchester in November 2022, with performance from Power Up grantees Graft & LayFullstop. You won’t want to miss this opportunity.
PRS For Music Heritage Awards
This esteemed non-profit organisation does not just manage the royalty payments for their members and fund new music, but they also celebrate live music venues and have been doing this since 2009 with these awards. To win an accolade at these prestigious awards, is one that is a true honour. These venues will have been nominated since they have made a direct impact on their contribution to the arts. Back in 2013, Queen were honoured with a PRS for Music Heritage Award at Imperial College to commemorate where they performed their first concert in London on the 18th of July 1970. And this year It was The BRIT School who won the Heritage award for ‘the school’s exceptional and ongoing contributions to music and the arts for the last 30 years.’
They are said to be paying more members, more royalties than ever before on the 14th of October. So if you are an artist and are not on their books as a member, then I would advise you to do so today.
They are ‘distributing over £211 million to more than 80,000 of their members. That’s an increase of over £32.5 million and 18% more than our previous largest distribution. It is just the sort of distributor that artists are looking for to support them. Based in streatham in south london, they have become a reputable music rights company for music users. They have 160k members in total and give £2.8m to their charities.
PRS wouldn’t be around without music, and music would not exist without the creatives behind it, like the songwriters, the composers, and publishers. The music industry is ever growing and it is very exciting right now. PRS are the force behind this growth. Supporting artists who may not have originally had the chance to have a music career and to see them go to win GRAMMYs, BRIT awards must be really humbling for PRS. Their goal is to fairly and accurately distribute royalties to their members every time their music is downloaded, streamed, reproduced or played in public. Through the means of transparency and efficiency, they are a force to be reckoned with and leading the charge as a performing rights organization.
Andrea C. Martin is the Chief Executive for PRS for Music since her appointment in 2019. PRS being part of an ever changing global music industry, she has been helping to shape the future of a renowned UK and global music business. Nigel Elderton, the PRS For Music Chairman works with her at the leading rights management organization and together they worked together to bring about an increase in the company’s royalty revenues year-on-year.
PRS for Music pays its members through four main distributions each year, in; April, July, October and December. If your music is played in film & tv before one of the particular payment dates, PRS may not hear about it until a few months later, so be patient and you will be entitled to receiving funds by the next payment date. As a member you can login and check when you are able to receive your payments. Once again, transparency is one of PRS’s goals for their members. They look after their stakeholders and rightsholders providing world leading music rights services.
The M magazine is the news and blog section of the company. This month, Komali Scott-Jones, the first Black History’s guest editor, discusses black female artists in the music industry and how a lack of representation leads to negative consequences within the industry. The online magazine champions its members’ achievements while giving sage advice on how to tackle this industry in terms of how to engage with your fanbase, how to write for film and television or how to get to grips with NFTs. Only this summer, PRS appointed Laura Mvula, the award winning singer-songwriter to join the members’ council, which carries a wealth of importance and proves that PRS are top of their game when it comes to bringing people to the fold who can ensure that the views of the PRS members are valued and respected.
PRS offers many avenues if you are in the business for licensing music, which cover on-demand streamed music, permanent downloads, podcasts, ringtones and audiovisual content that contains music, like a music video.
They offer other license types which include live performance, releasing music products, sync licensing, film and tv, radio and tv broadcasting, playing music at work (I mentioned blanket licenses before), and suing music outside internationally in the public domain.
It is clear that PRS for Music is a notable charitable organization who have shown that they are committed to protecting their members, representing them in terms of their rights. Artist development is essential and with the advancements in digital technology, artists have to be protected in terms of their rights in international territories. Supporting emerging artists but also nurturing the more advanced musicians is at the forefront of the company and with the distribution figures for October being at an all time high, they need to carry on doing what they are doing and they will continue to see more success year upon year.
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