Artists and managers write letter in protest against PRS For Music's proposed livestream event tariff

Lianne La Havas
Lianna La Havas livestreamed her July performance at the Roundhouse, London. (Image credit: Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Artists from the Featured Artist Collective (FAC) and Music Managers Forum (MMF) have penned a letter to PRS For Music CEO Andrea Martin voicing their opposition to the UK live music licensing body's proposed tariff on livestreamed performances.

The livestream event tariff, which levies 8 per cent on gross revenues up to £50,000 and 17 per cent on those over £450,000, was described as unviable, with the starting tariff twice the amount applied on an in-person live performance (4.2 per cent).

The letter was written by Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of the MMF, and David Martin, CEO of the FAC, with more than 50 managers and artists co-signing the letter – including representatives of Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, and Liam Gallagher who recently livestreamed a performance by London's River Thames. 

With Covid-19 shuttering live music for 2020, livestreaming has provided artists with another crucial source of revenues. The FAC and MMF said that there is a “staggering disconnect“ between the tariffs, arguing that “ticket is a ticket,“ and for more consultation on the proposals to address the disparity between the tariffs.

Charging artists up to 4 times the live rate strangles rather than nurtures this innovation


“For the sake of all artists, songwriters and the wider industry, it is crucial that this new format is allowed to grow and thrive" said the FAC/MMC. “Charging artists up to 4 times the live rate strangles rather than nurtures this innovation. For some of the smaller artists who have just covered their costs livestreaming, it will be impossible to find this additional money retrospectively.“

As reported in the NME, PRS For Music responded by saying the tariff for livestream events was a work in progress. “As conversations with our partners are active and ongoing, it would not be right for us to provide further detail or comment at this stage while we await their assessment and feedback.“

“Of course, our primary role is to protect our members’ rights and to ensure they are paid fairly for their work, which is more important than ever now. We hope that these conversations will progress quickly.”

You can read the FAC/MMF letter here.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.