UK could see a joint venture uniting public performance licensing

PRS for Music logo canvasTwo collecting societies are considering a joint venture that would manage all public performance licensing in the UK. PRS For Music and PPL have announced a proposal to create a 50/50 company that would unite the licensing activities under a single roof. PRS currently operates licensing for use of musical compositions and lyrics, while PPL manages the use of sound recordings for public performance licensing. If the plans for the new JV are approved, then interested parties would be able to secure a single license through one entity rather than two separate ones, likely beginning in 2017.

“Creating a single point of contact for our UK public performance customers would allow us to significantly simplify music licensing for UK businesses,” Robert Ashcroft, PRS For Music CEO, said. “It is in our members’ and customers’ interests to ensure that our licensing is ever more accurate and efficient.”

Licensing issues have been a critical topic in the online music space, with new business departments emerging to handle those tasks both within streaming companies and third-party operators. However, some artists and labels have seen those efforts as inaccurate and insufficient, leading to conflict and even legal actions.

Anna Washenko