PRS for Music, the UK's royalty collection group for music artists and publishers, has announced new, lower minimum rates for online music streaming services. The new rates will be effective as of July 1. The rates will be reduced from Â£0.0022 per track streamed down to Â£0.00085. Whilst the headline royalty rates will increase from 8% to 10.5%, the PRS hopes to "stimulate growth in the digital music market," according to a press release from them. The new rates will remain the same for three years.
PRS say "As new entrants join the market and existing providers expand, music creators will reap the rewards by sharing in the success that their talent is generating. This is a good deal for music creators and for music lovers."
Music streaming companies who offer their services in the UK have to pay royalties through the PRS. The PRS decides the rates that streaming sites are charged, although their members obviously contribute to this decision.
Andrew Shaw, managing director of PRS, said "it's a big step and a good indicator that YouTube and Pandora may come back. The PRS have shown that it is no longer a one sided argument any more," according to an article from the BBC.
Many members will remember when Pandora, a popular music streaming service, cut off access to UK members as a result of disputes regarding the rates in early 2008. Similarly, Youtube decided to remove premium music videos earlier this year in the UK, failing to reach an agreement with the PRS.
Whether or not this will attract the likes of Pandora and Youtube back again remains to be seen, however it would certainly seem that the PRS would like to see that happen.