PRS and PPL stay silent on merger

By Ellie Bothwell and Helen Gilbert

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Phonographic performance limited License

The two bodies refused to comment whether they would introduce joint licences for pubs
The two bodies refused to comment whether they would introduce joint licences for pubs
PPL and PRS for Music, the music licensing bodies, have remained tight-lipped on whether they will merge after concerns were raised over their "illogical" relationship.

The two bodies have already developed joint licences for small work places, amateur sports clubs and community buildings, but refused to comment on whether they would roll these out for pubs and clubs and other businesses, or whether the two companies would consider merging.

It comes after former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks said in a British Copyright Council-commissioned report that the existence of the two societies was a “major source of irritation” for small businesses because of the requirement to pay two licenses for the same pieces of music.

A PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) licence for a pub of up to 400sq m costs £126.56 annually, while a PRS (Performing Rights Society) for Music licence for a “typical pub” costs £507, which includes background, live music and DJ sessions.

Merricks said closer co-operation would allow the societies to be scrutinised by any future reviewer, who could check that progress was being made and the two bodies were “still on track”.

“A lot of people would say it’s illogical to have two different organisations and two different licence fees for effectively the same thing,” he told the PMA​.

Both organisations told the PMA​ they were committed to joint working, but refused to respond to questions on an official merger.

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