PRS for Music are the fifteenth recipients of Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight Award. The “Limelight’s” are a monthly initiative (launched in October 2012) that recognises the outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today. PRS for Music are 100 years old this year represent Scottish songwriters and composers across the globe.
We asked Stuart Fleming, Scotland & Northern Ireland Senior Manager at PRS for Music the following questions.
What is your principle business activity?
PRS for Music represents some of the most influential and popular music icons of all time. With over 100,000 songwriters, composers and music publisher members, it collected £665.7m in music royalties last year. We licence hundreds of thousands of businesses in the UK and in 150 territories worldwide, to use music, collecting royalties for its members every time their song is played on TV, radio, online, in businesses or at a live event.
When and where did the company first start trading?
PRS for Music has been supporting music creators since 1914. One hundred years ago, against the backdrop of the First World War, PRS for Music was formed with one member: operatic soprano sensation, Liza Lehmann. While the world of music has changed enormously in the last century – from sheet music to streaming – one thing hasn’t changed: our commitment to ensuring songwriters and composers are recognised and remunerated fairly for their work.
What made PRS for Music want to work with Scottish musicians?
Scotland has a rich cultural heritage that is easily recognised throughout the world. Our songwriters and composers are amongst the most successful and highly regarded anywhere in the globe. Scotland continues to grow in stature and confidence and that is reflected in the diversity of its music. Whether it is Braebach or Julie Fowlis, Biffy Clyro or Calvin Harris, Mogwai or Craig Armstrong, Scottish musicians continually showcase enormous depth of talent, culture and rich musical heritage to all corners of the globe. That is a remarkable achievement for a country of five million people.
Can you tell us of any particular PRS for Music highlights?
PRS for Music exists because of our members. We celebrate all the highlights in every member’s career. While it is a privilege to work with talented creators of all genres of music on a daily basis, the most satisfying is when an artist gets their first royalty payment that helps them realise a career writing and playing music. Of course The Trad Awards are a massive highlight each year, PRS for Music has awarded the Composer of The Year Award for the past 5 years and it’s a huge privilege to see such a wide range of talent on display.
What are your company’s plans for the future?
PRS for Music leads the way in music licensing in the digital age. The music industry has changed beyond all recognition in the past five to ten years but we are adapting. Many traditional income sources have declined and we know the landscape provides a constant state of change for songwriters, composers and music publishers who want to make a decent living. Ultimately our goal is to collect the maximum amount of income, from as many sources as possible for our members and to distribute that as quickly, fairly and efficiently as possible.
How will PRS for Music celebrate receiving Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight award?
We are very honoured to receive this nomination. PRS for Music is privileged to represent so many talented Scottish members. The award has only focused our commitment and dedication to supporting songwriters and composers at every stage of their careers and ensuring they are paid for their work. We will be celebrating with a rather large Talisker or two! Thank you.
PRS for Music
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