PRS is currently calling for views on how paid-for online live concerts should be licensed. This consultation will be of interest to those who have done or are considering doing such concerts.
After months of silence, PRS announced rates for Online Live Concerts (OLC) in December/January which have been met with dismay and an industry outcry, including from some of the artists whose interests PRS represents. The outcry related both to the fees (which start from 9% of income) and to PRS’ process – announcing fees first and talking to the sector only after protests through this current live consultation.
Covid-19 has decimated in-person events and professional musicians’ incomes. The wide variety of online activity over the last year has included some live pay-ticketed events. Most have made very little or no money for their promoters: they have often been about keeping in touch with audiences and enabling performers struggling to survive to earn a fee. But some have made money, like the Dua Lipa concert in November, believed to made £3m in ticket sales. Understandably, PRS feels it needs to license this kind of activity so that its members receive what is due to them.
Making Music members have been active online since Covid-19 shut down in-person activity, but where they have held public events, they have been mostly free (or asking for donations) and on platforms with blanket licenses from PRS, such as YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.
But any leisure-time music groups who have held or are considering ticketed paid-for live online events on other platforms (e.g. their own website, Zoom or Teams) will be interested in responding to this consultation which closes on 12 March.
Making Music has created notes to help members make a submission to the survey. Members can access these consultation notes by logging into the website.