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, Last.fm 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".