PRS for Music’s chief executive Andrea Martin gives us insights into the future of music licensing.

PRS for Music represents some 145,500 songwriters, composers, and publishers – a sizeable number. So, when their chief executive speaks about the future of licensing and royalty pay-outs, people tend to listen. 2019 was a great year for PRS. The company experienced increases in areas like Public Performance revenue (up by 16%) and live Performance revenue (up by 38.8%), as well as royalties collecting through online sources like video on demand and streaming (up 22%). It is debatable what these increases meant for independent musicians in 2019 given that the current system for paying out royalties is…complicated…and tend to be skewed in favour of bigger named acts. Nonetheless, it’s important for us all to know there is growth in the market. For 2020, PRS for Music is preparing for a more slightly sombering outcome as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s not all doom and gloom – depending on how you choose to look at it. We always like to find the silver linings at Dreamscope. In the interview Andrea makes several key points that should impact the thinking of independent artists and indeed artists at any points in their career but we think the key takeaway is this: “We’re going to come out of this very different, on a personal level and on a work level, the new normal is going to be very different. It’s going to be a more digital world so on the live side we need to look at live streamed gigs, perhaps there’s a premium to attend, either way, we need to reinvent the way we look at music. What’s hard is the online world doesn’t pay as well as live does, so how do we transform the industry as we move forward? Live will come back. Public Performance will come back. International will come back. But it won’t come back in the same way. We’re going to have a different world.” The question we should all be asking ourselves is what we are doing now to prepare ourselves to be successful in this “different world”. HINT: Think digital and take time to up-skill

Tags: #PRSforMusic #COVID19 #livemusic #musiclicensing

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