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PRS: Cloud Cover

In one of the biggest slabs of industry news this month, the legal eagles are hovering as PRS for Music have announced that it is taking legal action against streaming service SoundCloud.

As reported here by Music Week, PRS issued a letter to members stating that the collection society had “no alternative to commence legal proceedings” and that SoundCloud “continues to deny it needs a PRS for Music license for its existing service available in the UK and Europe”.

This has resulted in no payments from SoundCloud to PRS members for plays on its website or app. SoundCloud has reportedly taken down 250 tracks from PRS for Music songwriters and publishers, after receiving a list of 4,500 musical works from the society along with its claim.

PRS for Music also stated: “If the streaming market is to reach its true potential and offer a fair return for our members, organisations such as SoundCloud must pay for their use of our members’ music”.

SoundCloud launched in 2008 and has over 175m users per month. The streaming service operated without licenses until last year, after indicating that it intends to launch a subscription service. Warner Music Group and independent labels represented by Merlin agreed to license the service in the US but negotiations stalled with Sony and are yet to materialise with Universal despite reportedly being on the verge of a deal.

In related news, PRS has also announced a project aimed at simplifying over 40 of its existing tariff as reported by Billboard.

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