PRS for Music’s latest quarterly distribution was $288.7m, its ‘largest single royalty payment’ to date

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UK-based royalty collection and distribution organization PRS for Music has marked a new milestone in October , achieving a record-breaking quarterly royalty distribution (for Q3) of $288.7 million (£239m).

“It is the largest single royalty payment in its 109-year history and over 4,000 members received their first royalty payments this month,” PRS said in a blog post on Tuesday (October 24).

The figure represents a 13% jump compared to last year’s October distribution.

PRS largely attributed the performance to the rebound in live music touring and revenues from markets outside of the UK. The lineup of PRS’s Major Live Concert Service (MLCS) this year included tours by WizKid, Shania Twain, Ed Sheeran and Diljit Dosanjh, among others. Concerts by The Who, Bastille, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and Pulp also boosted live music revenue through the MLCS.

MLCS expedites live tour royalty payments and provides tax guidance for PRS members touring at venues with capacities exceeding 5,000 worldwide.

In 2020, PRS for Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin set a target of distributing £1 billion (USD $1.2 billion at current exchange rates) in royalties annually by 2026, while simultaneously reducing PRS’ cost-to-income ratio to 10%.

“In 2021, PRS for Music set out its vision to pay out over £1 billion in royalties within the next five years. Last year we accelerated progress towards, and beyond, this milestone. Through our ambitious licensing strategy and utilizing our joint ventures, we have maximized the value of members’ works at every opportunity,” Martin said earlier this year.

The latest distribution indicates that PRS is well ahead of schedule as its cost-to-income ratio has already dropped to 9.3%, three years ahead of schedule. 

“When I came in, it was 13%,” Martin told MBW in an interview earlier this month.

In 2022, PRS for Music collected £964 million ($1.16 billion) and paid out £836.2 million ($1.01 billion) in royalties to songwriters and publishers. The payouts represent a 23.5% increase from the previous year.

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 165,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers worldwide.

Martin recently underscored the need for the music industry to be open to change. 

“I’ve been in many industries, including print publishing, logistics, and security. I was on the board at a telco company. So I’ve seen different industries and I feel that the music industry has to be open to change,” Martin said.

Last month, PRS expanded its Nexus metadata program to link songwriter information to recordings before they are released. Nexus introduced its metadata portal in 2022.

Music Business Worldwide

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