This week PRS for Music announced ‘Amplify’, a new initiative bringing together electronic music writers, producers, publishers and labels to make the most of today’s changing technology and to ensure that writers and producers are benefiting fully from their tracks.
PRS for Music represents over 95,000 songwriters and publishers and collects £630m annually in royalties. With electronic music currently achieving worldwide success, many writers and producers are not receiving royalties at the levels they should.
PRS for Music analysis revealed:
· While electronic music programming made up 15% of broadcast hours on BBC Radio 1 in 2011 – paying royalties to writers for over 50% of these songs has been impossible due to incomplete track information reported to PRS for Music or writers simply not knowing they can become a member of the organisation and register their songs.
· DJs are less likely to submit set lists than their guitar-playing counterparts. Only 35% of set lists were completed at Creamfields and 15% at Glade in 2011. By comparison, at Reading Festival, a predominantly guitar-based event, 90% of set lists were completed.
· An average set list for a major electronic music festival such as Glade or Creamfields (approx 171 sets) can be worth £250 per set. This means a potential £85,500 is not being paid to the correct writers from these two events alone.
· Total industry online licensing revenue grew by 20% in 2011 to reach £379m. Without adopting the right habits and using the right data, the electronic music community will not be able to earn the royalties they are due from their work.
Mark Lawrence, Director of Membership & Rights at PRS for Music said: “I was converted to dance music in 1989 when I walked into the Zap Club in Brighton and was hit by the sound of Voodoo Ray by A Guy called Gerald. This is a vital community, making a significant contribution to all creative industries. Its sound features heavily in television, advertising and film, alongside a long established but fast growing live sector. It is essential electronic music writers, producers and publishers are properly supported by joining PRS for Music, registering their songs and earning from their music.”
Highlights of the initiative include:
Creating an electronic music committee which includes industry figures such as John Truelove (Truelove Music & producer ‘You Got the Love’), Anglo Management, Hospital Records, Defected Records, Reverb Music and AIM (the Association of Independent Music).
Working with DJ technology specialists to find ways to report set lists automatically from clubs, radio and live performances.
Working more closely with music rights societies around the world to ensure royalties are being efficiently collected and distributed.
Raising awareness amongst emerging electronic music writers so they join PRS for Music and can start earning from their tracks.
The launch of ‘Amplify’ comes within two weeks of the launch of the Association for Electronic Music, a non-profit body advocating the value of the genre. Its co-founder Ben Turner states: "Issues around the payment of producers and artists have been a major factor in our thinking of the need for AFEM to exist, and we've had some valuable dialogue with PRS for Music on many issues around the genre. We welcome this initiative as a major part of a collective push from the electronic world to educate the genre and to get people paid and recognised for their work. We look forward to further discussions and building a strategy with those involved in the ‘Amplify’ initiative."