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EMI not happy with the PRS cut in streaming rates

By | Published on Wednesday 1 July 2009

Talking of digital streaming services, Music Week has reported that EMI Music Publishing aint impressed with plans by publishing collecting society PRS For Music to reduce the costs of streaming royalties.

As previously reported, the collecting society recently announced it was altering its rates for on-demand streaming services, so that while revenue share demands went up, the minimum cost per stream (which is what most digital services pay, given revenues are normally tiny) was going down considerably, from 0.22p per stream to 0.085p per stream. The cut was welcomed by the digital services sector, who have always said PRS’s royalty fees were vastly over priced, though the cut has not, as yet, satisfied YouTube who are still blocking premium music videos in the UK in its continued dispute with the collecting society over royalties.

Anyway, it seems EMI isn’t impressed with the price cut, and is therefore taking back control of the administration of songs in its vast catalogue in the online streaming domain, meaning that particular PRS licence won’t cover anything published by EMI. The major publisher will continue to make its songs available to digital music services, but at the old rate.

There are rumours Universal and Sony/ATV are also unhappy with the new rates, though they haven’t gone as far as to take the administration of those rights back inhouse. If they do, PRS For Music will almost certainly have to go back on its new rate card. Given the likes of YouTube seem to think even the revised prices were too high, it seems like streaming royalty arguments are likely to continue. In fact, I have a feeling I might need to buy a new Copyright Tribunal hat.