My latest PRS payment dropped into my account a few days ago. I resolved a while back to try not to talk about financial matters in this blog, but this is probably worth a mention, firstly because I think that the PRS do an essential job for writers and performers, and secondly because it was the largest payment I have received.
I have not yet found out where this money was earned, but, while not enough to allow me to retire in comfort, it still enabled me to put some investment the way of one of the Shepton eateries by way of small celebration.
The Performing Rights Society tend only to hit the news when they (rightly, pardon the pun) attempt to make those who should pay for the music that they are using. There are exceptions, of course, such as when music is used in divine worship, but in general creative artists are well protected by the PRS, and that protection is gradually rolling out worldwide as well.
I have found illegal uploads of my music on the web, done without my or the performer’s permission, and view it somewhat charitably as free advertising, but it can be hard to justify that lenient view when somebody else is making a little here and a little there out of advertising clicks and so on, and performer and composer are making nothing.
Undoubtedly we have come a long way since Haydn bought a volume of his own string quartets from a music shop and got home only to find out that none of the included music was by him, and there is still a way to go, but the PRS does a great job of chanelling a composer’s or a performer’s earnings back to them, even in small amounts.
My ultimate aim is to grow that income stream as much as I can over the next years, not just because I think it is an area often neglected by emerging composers and one that deserves serious thought. Meanwhile those who shout the loudest against the PRS might stop and think about how we are meant to go about creating music if we cannot afford the time to write it.