Thursday, May 28, 2009

PRS comes to terms with the new world

They're trying to sound upbeat about it, but clearly, the new online music rate accepted by PRS is an acceptance that their insane, overvalued pitch has been totally routed:

Royalty collector PRS For Music has bowed to websites' pleas for smaller charges, more than halving its on-demand streaming music rate from £0.0022 to £0.00085 per track, effective July 1 and lasting for three years.

So, the blustering about demanding larger shares of money (albeit money that isn't there) has blown away, and the rights agency have had to accept that online music for personal listening simply isn't worth very much at all.

The spokesperson 6Music News was talking to yesterday even had the cheek to applaud the agreement they'd signed because it meant they could help with the development of new music platforms and services. Despite the PRS having been very, very clear back at the start of negotiations that they didn't believe musicians and songwriters should be subsidising the development of new music services by accepting lower rates.

The same spokesperson said that they'd only entered into the negotiations because it was what their members wanted. If that was true, you wonder why it was only after the talks had started going badly that they suddenly launched that website "debate" to try and get the rank-and-file behind them. And if the members had really wanted an uneconomic and unrealistic doubling of the rate, then PRS have done a bloody awful job of bringing those wishes to pass, haven't they?

Either way, were I a member of the PRS, I'd be looking carefully into how I could actually ensure my wishes were represented by the management.