PRS For Music's concerts tariff is to rise to 4% after the Copyright Tribunal rubber-stamped the terms of a new live music agreement following three years of negotiations.
The tariff was originally set in 1988 and stood at 3% of gross box office receipts per event.
A new lower rate of 2.5% is also being introduced for festivals that meet certain criteria which recognises specific considerations for festivals. A higher charge of 4.2% (and 2.7% for festivals) would apply where the licensee elects not to account to PRS in respect of revenue generated from booking fees, administration and service charges.
Paul Clements, PRS' executive director of membership, international and licensing, said: “By working together with our colleagues across the live sector we have successfully negotiated an agreed outcome for all parties and I’m very pleased that the Copyright Tribunal has now approved the terms, as agreed between PRS and the Live sector representatives.
"We have reached an agreement which not only recognises and rewards the huge contribution made by our songwriter and composer members to the live industry but, as importantly, recognises the different needs and strengths of the thousands of venues and events across the UK that are critical to the ongoing sustainability and diversity of the UK live music scene.”
In addition, the minimum fee charged for events will be waived entirely, providing that music reporting requirements are met, while a direct licensing mechanism will also be incorporated, as agreed with the live sector.
The live sector was responsible for £30.9 million of PRS’ record-breaking £527.6m royalties paid out in 2016. Royalties from the sector were up 9.2% for the year, in part, due to an additional 7,600 concerts and festivals held compared with the previous year.
A tariff rise of one percentage point would have taken the amount of money paid by live members to £41.2m - an extra £10.3m - although that revised figure does not take into account a lower festival rate.
PRS launched a consultation on Tariff LP with PRS members, licensees, stakeholders and live sector industry bodies, in April 2015.
Agreement on the terms of a new tariff was reached in July 2017 with major industry bodies representing the live sector including; the Association Of Festival Organisers (AFO), Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF), British Association Of Concert Halls (BACH), Concert Promoters’ Association (CPA), Glastonbury Festivals Limited, Music Venue Trust (MVT), National Arenas Association (NAA), Society of London Theatre (SOLT), and the UK Theatre Association.
CPA chairman Phil Bowdery said: “We have all worked hard to reach this agreement. It recognises the importance of the live industry but also, what is of huge significance, is that it recognises the sector’s diversity. By coming to this agreement, and the recognition of the common ground we share, we believe it works in the best interests of all parties involved.”
While it would benefit rights-holders, numerous figures within the live industry have spoken out against the need for an increased PRS rate - arguing that increased costs could have dire consequences for smaller venues and events in particular.
The revised terms will come into force from Monday, June 11.