Music industry speaks out against PRS cuts: “The music industry will be damaged for the foreseeable future”

Over 50 music organisations are urging PRS to reverse the decision, which they say "could set the fragile post-Covid music economy back by decades"

Over 50 organisations in the music industry have joined together to sign an open letter asking the PRS to reverse its recent decision to make significant cuts.

The new #HaltCutsToPRSF effort comes after PRS For Music announced recently that it will reduce its annual donations to the charitable PRS Foundation by 60 per cent, which has been described as a “potentially devastating” decision.

“We respect the commitment displayed by PRS for Music through its 22 years of investment in emerging UK talent from the grassroots up,” the group said in a statement. “As the principal patron of the PRS Foundation, PRS for Music has contributed significantly towards making the UK music industry more accessible, more equitable, more creative and more profitable.

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“However, both PRS for Music’s track record and the music industry itself will be damaged for the foreseeable future if its unprecedented cutback of Foundation funding is enacted.  We stand together to urge PRS for music to halt its proposed cuts to PRS Foundation and reverse a decision that could set the fragile post-Covid music economy back by decades.”

2021 Governors Ball Music Festival - Day 2
Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty

Those signing the open letter include members of the Association of Independent Music (AIM), IVORS Academy and more.

AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: “PRS Foundation funding has an incredible track record.  It helps level the playing field for many under-represented and marginalised groups in music and has led to successful longer-term outcomes for those artists and creative entrepreneurs it has supported.

“It seems counter-intuitive that the PRS Members Council would choose to cut this funding so aggressively, at a time when recovery is so fragile, and the data at PRS must surely show a strong return on investment for PRS, and for UK songwriters and publishers.”

Ammo Talwar MBE, the organiser of the open letter, added: “We believe PRS for Music should urgently look again at alternatives before signing off on this retrograde decision. The PRS Foundation has been more agile than ever before, creating programmes at pace to the ever-changing needs of the music industry. It delivers exceptional value to creators, place and the broader levelling up agenda, and has that independent rigour that amplifies new voices into the sector. The more creators supported by PRS Foundation, the more potential future PRS Members, a huge value commercial opportunity.”

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This March, it was announced that UK music industry revenue grew by nearly 13 per cent across 2021, meaning it is now worth £1.26billion.

According to new research and data from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), the figures mark the seventh consecutive year of growth in the sector.

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