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UK PRS for Music 2009 Financial Results

PRS for Music, which represents 65,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK, collecting and distributing royalties on their behalf, announced a 2.6% rise in annual revenues to £623 million.

According to the statement, tougher trading conditions in the UK music market were offset by strong growth internationally and by the licensing of new online services:

• Significant increase in revenues from British music use abroad (up 19.4% to £166.9m) were buoyed by both exchange rate gains and increased licensing activity in new and established territories

• Online revenues grew 72.7% to £30.4m, reflecting the increased number of legal licensed digital music services available in the UK and across Europe

• This growth (£12.8m) outperformed the decline in traditional CD and DVD formats (down £8.7m) for the first time, though the legal online music market is still comparatively small

• Public performance revenues increased by 2.4% despite a reduction in licence fees for small businesses to £44 per annum as more businesses take greater advantage of the benefits of music

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music, said: “In a tough trading year for all of us I’m pleased we were able to deliver a small increase in royalty revenues, allowing the nation’s music creators to keep creating music that is heard and appreciated around the world.  This growth reflects in particular our increased efforts to license those benefiting from the use of British music overseas, our continued pursuit of legitimate alternatives to online piracy and, as always, the creative talent of our authors, composers and publishers. 2009 was the first year in which the growth in revenues from the legal digital market compensated for the decline in revenues from traditional CDs and DVDs, though we remain cautious as to whether this represents a true turning point. The next decade does however promise further growth in earnings from the legal digital market as well as the use of British music overseas”.

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