When our clients talk to us about using royalty-free music in a public space, for example, in a cafe, restaurant or shop, they often tell us that they’ve been approached by PRS or PPL. They want some way to avoid having to pay a recurring annual fee. I heard from one restaurant owner that it was over £1000. They are told that they have to pay the fee, but they are not sure why. What is it for?
It’s difficult to know how the fees are calculated as they differ depending on the type of premises, footfall etc. However, I find that many clients are not really sure what the purpose of the performance rights organization is. Where do the fees go?
The money is collected on behalf of the PRO’s members, consisting of music artists, bands, composers and music publishers, and distributed between them after the PRO takes its share. The PRO is there to ensure that its members receive remuneration when their music is played in a public space, whether that be in an office, restaurant, coffee shop, shopping mall, TV, radio, or wherever it can be heard.
If you are looking to use our royalty-free music to play in your cafe, shop or restaurant, we can not guarantee that you won’t be approached by a PRO.
Having said that, we do have access to royalty-free music that is PRS/PPL-free and can be used in public spaces.
For your reference, we have provided a list of royalty-collecting agencies below for the various territories (countries) around the world.
List of Performance Rights Organizations
Australia APRA / AMCOS
Czech Republic OSA
Hong Kong CASH
New Zealand APRA / AMCOS
South Africa SAMRO
Trinidad & Tobago COTT
USA ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC
United Kingdom PRS
Feel free to leave your own thoughts and experiences of PROs.