I guess this mini blog is for anyone who’s just started out in the wonderful world of songwriting, or for those who have a general interest in this side of things. You’d think that writing songs consist of pure creativity and nothing else, but there are so many other things to consider once complete to both protect your music and ultimately start your career (& hopefully this will help you to earn a little bit of £££).
Put simply, PRS is a royalty collection and distribution society. Its members are songwriters, composers and music publishers, and PRS collects money that's owed to you from the usage of your works.
On their website, PRS for Music describes the importance of being a member,
“Joining PRS or MCPS as a writer means you can earn money when your music is used. You don't need to be signed to a record label or a music publishing company, but you do need to be the copyright owner of a musical work.”
I joined PRS towards the end of 2018, and I have been so happy with the help and support that I’ve received over the last few years. I really didn’t ‘get it’ when I first joined, the information overload blew my mind, and it admittedly seemed way too complicated to me. I attended a PRS panel event in Birmingham (in-person, before Covid), asked WAY too many questions, and then slowly but surely... I finally started to 'get it!' Hooray!
I guess the lesson is to immerse yourself in a subject, don’t shy away from things that you don’t understand first time round, because like me - you might end up having a lightbulb moment! Of course, there’s way more for me to learn and understand about PRS going forward, but I’ve got a solid grasp on this side of the business now which is a good start for sure!
Trying to establish yourself as a songwriter is so difficult, so it’s amazing to celebrate little wins when your music gets used. See below for an example of the type of information that PRS show you in your quarterly statements.
To break this down, they list what works (songs) of yours have been used, in what sector, and to what amount (they show this both as a % and in pounds and pence). On my latest statement (April 2022), I researched a little more into the ‘General Recorded’ section and found out that two of my songs have been played regularly in UK shops during that quarter. Nice surprise!
Overall, as a songwriter, PRS is well worth joining, it costs £100 as a one-off fee, but from my experience, you should earn that back relatively soon-ish.
I hope this mini blog has offered you a little insight, don't hesitate to reach out or drop me a DM if you have any questions. I’m hoping to publish more blogs detailing my general day-to-day as a songwriter and creative within the music industry, so keep a look out for that over the next few months!