PRS cuts audio streaming rates for UK

PRS for Music, the body that collects and distributes royalties in the UK, has slashed its rates for streaming audio. It's more than halved its on-demand streaming music rate from £0.0022 to £0.00085 per track, lasting for 3 years.

Unfortunately with that, it's raising its headline rate from eight percent of a website’s revenue to 10.5 percent. Sites pay either the per-stream rate or the headline rate, whichever is the greater.

That means that large sites like YouTube, and Spotify tend to pay the per-stream rate, so this is good news for them. It's less good news for new startups entering the market, as they'll have to face a bigger chunk coming out of their small revenues.

PRS for Music's online and broadband MD Andrew Shaw said: “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”.

It's unclear for the moment whether this will return "premium content" to UK YouTube or not, though Pocket-lint is waiting for clarification from Google. The news is likely to boost the UK's arguably world-leading position in music streaming services.

UPDATE: Google has responded. A spokesperson told Pocket-lint:
"We welcome any efforts to make licensing costs more realistic, but as we're still in discussions with the PRS to agree license terms for YouTube we're unable to comment further".