British Collection Societies Plan Joint Company to Ease the Licensing Process

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British collecting societies PPL and PRS for Music plan to establish a new joint venture company that will become a single point of contact for U.K. businesses wishing to obtain a license to play music in public. 

Set to launch in 2017, the new company is intended to streamline and simplify the licensing process and enable customers to obtain a joint performance license in a single transaction. Prior to launch, both collecting societies will be consulting with key stakeholders and regulators to get approval for the scheme.

Under the current system, British shops, restaurants, bars and offices are required to purchase two licenses if they wish to play music -- one from PRS for Music that covers the rights of over 115,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, as well as a separate license from PPL, which works on behalf of record companies and performers. 

According to a statement from PRS for Music, it is “highly likely” that the business will be located outside of London.    

“Creating a single point of contact for our UK public performance customers would allow us to significantly simplify music licensing for UK businesses,” said Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music, in a statement.  “It is in our members’ and customers’ interests to ensure that our licensing is ever more accurate and efficient. A joint venture between our organizations would be a landmark event for both societies,” he went on to say. 

Ashcroft’s words were echoed by PPL CEO Peter Leathem, who said: “Both our organizations firmly believe that the proposed joint venture would be a very positive development for both our customers and our members, building on the successful joint licensing solutions and other joint working initiatives that PPL and PRS for Music have delivered.” 

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