Music Biz Got £5.5 Million PRS Royalties From Digital In Q1

Musicians got only five percent of their performance royalties from online and mobile in the first three months of the year. The Performing Right Society – which is part of the MCPS-PRS Alliance and hands royalties to composers, songwriters and music publishers – says it paid out a record £110 million in Q1. This Guardian story credits the licence struck with YouTube in August ’07 for part of the rise. But MCPS-PRS CEO Steve Porter said: “There’s still an awful lot to do. For PRS, online and mobile phones, in terms of the total money we collect, represent less than five percent.”

That would mean the British music biz got a not-stellar £5.5 million from digital, despite the rapid rise of social media, video and music sites that use its wares. The rise is mainly down to resurgence in the live music scene, royalties from which have doubled in the last year.

Porter’s glass-half-full attitude suggests too few such services are currently paying for the music they use: “There is an exciting opportunity because there are a whole load of usages of music out there that are so far not licensed. I prefer to look at it through that lens rather than say ‘there’s a whole load of people stealing music’.” Guardian: “PRS has already analysed more than 1.5 billion separate views of YouTube videos.” Porter expects 2008 full-year payouts to rise seven percent on 2007’s £380 million. Don’t forget that musicians also get royalties from PPL.