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Collection Societies!

There are 3 collection societies in todays music industry. PRS, MCPS, PPL. Each of these societies have different roles in the music industry.

The role of all 3 societies is to administer and enforce the copyright of the artists work on behalf of the artist. (copyright explained in a previous blog post)


Although each society has the same base role: to administer and enforce copyright, they have different roles.

PRS is the broadcasting and performance right. The actual members of this society are writers (authors and composers) as well as music publishers. They get their money from issuing licenses to anywhere that plays music. Things such as shops, restaurants and cafes. The cost differs depending on how many customers the place has. Simply, how many people actually hear the music. As it would be very unfair to charge the same price to a small cafe compared to the busiest restaurant or supermarket. PRS distribute blanket statements to the music users, radio stations and so on. Blanket statements are very vague and do not tell specific numbers. The royalty rate will differ depending on percentage of venue or by the volume of the music viewer. The online royalty rate is around 8% of the revenue. If the rights are sold to a separate music publisher then the writer get 50% of the performance right straight away.


MCPS is the mechanical copyright of a piece of work. Essentially the right to copy and synchronise the work with audio. This society shares the same members as the previous society above. They distribute licenses for the manufacture of physical things used in things such as TV, radio etc. Once the licenses are issued the revenue is distributed to the members and the society takes a commission fee.


PPL controls the right to broadcast and publicly perform records. The two members of this society are, the record label as well as the performer. Giving the place the artists is performing in the license to use a sound recording to publicly perform. The license is paid annually and the rates are agreed with broadcasters. PPL then gives the income it receives from the license to the people who own the sound recording, which is usually the record label, and the performer who registered they played the track.

This is all essential information when entering into this industry as I need knowledge of how things work as well as what my cashflow would be like. With this knowledge going forward I'm able to identify the copyright I have of the song recorded as well as the royalty rate I am due. In addition, I now know who collects the money on my behalf as well as how they collect the money for me, or put short where my money comes from.

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