Difference Between PRS and PPL

The PRS and the PPL both collect music licensing fees on behalf of song writers, composers and publishers.

The PRS collects and pay royalties to their members when their music is exploited in one of a number of ways – when it is recorded onto any format and distributed to the public, performed or played in public, broadcast or made publicly available online. This is all based around the writers public performance rights.

PPL collects the license fee on behalf of the performers and record companies. PPL collects royalties for a range of uses of recorded music – when it is played in public or broadcast on TV, radio and certain digital media services.

The difference between the two licences is more clearly illustrated when the writer is a different person from the artist. For example, if you were to broadcast the Jimi Hendrix recording of the Bob Dylan song All Along the Watchtower, then the respective music licences would relate to the following rights:

  • PPL: This licence would be on behalf of the UK record company that controls the rights to the Jimi Hendrix recording of the song
  • PRS for Music: This licence would be on behalf of the UK publisher that controls the rights to the Bob Dylan song
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