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BBC signs new licensing deal with PRS For Music

By | Published on Thursday 7 October 2021


UK song right collecting society PRS For Music has announced that it has signed a new five year music licence with the BBC. So, if worries that the broadcaster was suddenly going to be unable to play music were keeping you awake at night, you can now sleep soundly again. For now.

The blanket licence covers the BBC’s full range of services, including television, radio, iPlayer and Sounds in the UK, as well as the BBC World Service and BBC Studios internationally. Both sides have talked up how the deal will allow the Beeb to develop and expand its range of digital services – something that has come under regulator scrutiny recently.

“The BBC are delighted to have signed a new five-year agreement with PRS For Music, giving long-term certainty to both parties in an ever-changing digital landscape”, says Nicky Bignell, Head Of Music Licensing at the BBC. “A blanket music licence gives the BBC the flexibility required to offer our audiences the very best music from members of PRS For Music. The deal also enables the BBC to continue delivering outstanding value to every household for their licence fee, whether providing live music coverage from Glastonbury or the Proms, or featuring burgeoning talent on 1Xtra or 6 Music”.

“As the BBC continues to innovate with BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer, we look forward to continuing our relationship with PRS For Music whilst working in partnership with the wider music industry, which is also crucial to our success”, she continues. “This agreement will take us through to the next phase of the BBC’s evolution, as we continue to entertain the nation whilst ensuring the highest-quality output on screen, on air and online”.

Dan Gopal, Chief Commercial Officer at PRS, adds: “We are very proud to have signed this new agreement with the BBC and to see our long-standing partnership continue to evolve in an ever-changing market. It is paramount to PRS members that their music is valued wherever and whenever it is consumed, and our relationship with the BBC ensures that we can deliver on that commitment to our members across the entire proposition of BBC services”.

“The partnership between PRS and the BBC remains one of our most important”, he goes on, “with our members playing an instrumental role in bringing BBC content to life through their music, and the BBC’s reputation as one of the world’s most respected and innovative broadcast corporations contributing significant value for the music creators we represent”.

Who wants some stats, though? I know I do. Highlighting the importance of the BBC to the music industry, PRS says that in 2020, BBC TV programmes featured eight million minutes of music, and the BBC as a whole generated 100 billion lines of music data. Over 40,000 songwriters and composers received royalties from the BBC last year, with just under 2000 emerging music makers receiving their first ever royalty thanks to a BBC play.