PRS is working with Google to build a Shazam for public licensing

Well this is a turn up for the books.

UK collection society PRS For Music is experimenting on a not-so-secret project with Google Play Music, designed to automate the process of public performance licensing.

In other words, they appear to be working on a prototype of some kind of device which recognises and monitors music played in public venues such as bars, venues and restaurants.

If successful, such a device would be very likely to increase the accuracy of what public performance royalties PRS pays out to who when their tracks are used out in the big wide world.

Speaking in a new interview with Forbes, PRS For Music CEO Robert Ashcroft revealed:

Robert Ashcroft

“We have a project we’re running with google play… to get the cost of devices left in premises around the land down to the point it’s cost-effective.”

Robert Ashcroft, PRS For Music

“We are engaged in a whole bunch of experiments, both in developing technology… We have a particular project that we are running with Google Play at the [moment] where we are looking at ways of getting the cost of the devices that would be left in premises around the land down to the point to where it is cost effective.”

On the one hand, that will be music to the ears of songwriters and publishers. Such a device, if cost-effective, could enact a small revolution in terms of public performance collection.

On the other hand, songwriters and publishers are typically not known for their love of the word Google (although, again, in this case it’s the well-liked Google Play Music brand that’s involved, rather than a direct project with its parent – the big search leviathan).

Quite what Spotify or Apple Music will make of the news is another matter…Music Business Worldwide

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