PRS for Music and PPL, the UK collecting societies are proposing to create a new joint venture company to handle all public performance licensing for the UK.
With businesses currently requiring both licences for playing music in public – PRS for use of the musical composition and lyrics, on behalf of songwriters, composers and publishers, – PPL representing the use of the sound recording, on behalf of record companies and performers – would be streamlined by a single license, issued by the new, as-yet-unnamed 50/50 JV company.
The move comes after a strategic review and will notably streamline the licensing process, with the new single license being available via phone or website.
Robert Ashcroft, CEO of PRS for Music commented, “Creating a single point of contact for our UK public performance customers would allow us to significantly simplify music licensing for UK businesses,”
He continued, “It is in our members’ and customers’ interests to ensure that our licensing is ever more accurate and efficient. A joint venture between our organisations would be a landmark event for both societies”.
PPL CEO Peter Leathem said: “Both our organisations firmly believe that the proposed joint venture would be a very positive development for both our customers and our members, building on the successful joint licensing solutions and other joint working initiatives that PPL and PRS for Music have delivered over the last few years”.
PPL and PRS for Music will now embark on a consultation period with key stakeholders and towards regulator approval.
The move has already sparked criticism from Kim Bayley CEO of ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association), calling the two organisations “effectively monopolies” and warning that some retailers may “give up on music entirely” if licence fees continue to increase.
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