PRS rate hike backlash
We’re hearing from a number of sources that members of the UK copyright collection company PRS for Music are angry at the recently implemented increases in administration and commission rates.
Although the plan was first announced in March, this month sees PRS increase administration rates on royalties and commission rates on MCPS payments by approximately 1% as a direct response to “the decline of physical sales and the shift to digital music consumption”.
The widespread move towards digital consumption resulted in MCPS posting a £2.5m loss last year and has forced PRS chief executive Robert Ashcroft to admit that “the financial health of MCPS is not good… and in fact it is getting worse.” Who’d have seen that one coming?
At a time when musicians are already feeling the pinch of dwindling revenues from music sales, the rate hike is likely to feel like a slap in the face to PRS members, who are now forced to foot the bill for the organisation’s sluggish attempts to reap the rewards of emerging digital revenue streams.
PRS’s angle is that the rise is the lesser of two evils, providing medium term stability, thus protecting musicians from far steeper admin increases should MCPS be forced to fold. All of which prompts the question: what exactly are members paying for? The protection of a royalties society which can’t maximise revenues for its members?