Good news for small businesses! One less invoice to worry about.
Currently, you have to apply for a PPL licence and a PRS for Music licence separately as they are two separate entities. This has been a confusing nightmare for many small business owners who aren't aware of the difference between the two licences, let alone why they may legally need both. In fact, many businesses question why they need two licences for the same thing, due to the confusion between why each one is necessary. But the recently announced joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music will in future allow customers to purchase the joint licence. One transaction. One invoice. And PPL and PRS for Music will sort out between themselves how the money is to be split between the rights owners.
This is huge for the UK public performance licensing sector, worth approximately £250 million each year. The new venture will be owned jointly and equally by both PRS for Music and PPL, and they aim to start licensing in 2017 as a new company yet to be named. Though the joint licence won't reduce the cost of the combined licences for business owners, the licensing process will be far more efficient and streamlined than how it is currently as you will only only have to deal with a single company. The licence will be available to purchase through a website or over the phone and should effectively result in more money going toward the rights holders of the music being played by making it easier to pay the correct music licence fees. It is thought that many business owners right now unknowingly only pay for one of the two required licences as they don't know that they have to pay both.
Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive for PRS for Music, has stated:
"Creating a single point of contact for our UK public performance customers would allow us to significantly simplify music licensing for UK businesses. It is in our members' and customers' interests to ensure that our licensing is ever more accurate and efficient. A joint venture between our organisations would be a landmark event for both societies."
Peter Leathem, PPL CEO, added:
"Both our organisations 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 over the last few years."
Businesses have been expecting this move for years, and wondering why it hasn't happened already. Though both PPL and PRS for Music plan to launch the new licence in 2017, they anticipate a 12 month "transition period".