The UK collection society PRS For Music just reported it’s best profits ever, great news for indie artists – but is it all good news?

PRS For Music’s reports for 2016 have come back and it brought some great news for the collection society, with payouts to it’s members rising by 11.1%. This pushed artist revenues from the company to over £500 million for the first time ever and overall revenues to £621.5 million with 15.6% growth.

The company, which collects royalty payments for whenever any of their member’s music is used/played, reported over 4.3 trillion uses of music. To put into context, just in case a trillion doesn’t mean bloody loads to you, the organisation reported only 126 billion uses of music for their artists in 2012.

PRS For Music’s CEO, Robert Ashcroft said: “2016 was another landmark year as we achieved record revenues and delivered, for the first time, member distributions in excess of half a billion pounds. We paid out more money, to more members, across more works and against significantly increased data volumes, than ever before. This has been made possible through our long term strategy of investing in technology, data, joint ventures and other strategic partnerships.”

PRS for Music royalty collection society artists artist independent royalties collected report

That’s not to say that 2016 was a clean win for PRS as they reported largely increased spending with a 14.2% larger topline in 2016 that brought spending to £91.3 million, not including donations and rent subsidies. PRS gave a number of reasons for the rising costs with one being the UK pound sterlings drop in value against other currencies in the past year.

PRS CEO Ashcroft spoke one their spending, saying: “Despite the growth in revenues, there remain some very real challenges in the online market and we welcome the European Commission’s proposed clarification of copyright law to ensure the value of creators’ work is better protected online. These are critical to the development of a healthy and sustainable online market for music. We hope the European Parliament and Council, including our own government, support its recommendations.”