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PPL and PRS for Music launch Music Recognition Technology pilot

PPL and PRS for Music have launched a pilot designed to evaluate the use of Music Recognition Technology (MRT) in identifying music publicly performed by DJs in clubs, bars, pubs and hotels licensed by PPL and PRS. It is hoped that the pilot, carried out by MRT provider DJ Monitor, will result in the accurate identification of music performance information, which when collected from a wide variety of licensed premises can be incorporated into a ‘best practice’ policy for distributing royalties to PPL and PRS members. 

Participating venues will monitor music played by DJs using an MRT device and send the data to a secure database to be matched, analysed and reported back to PPL and PRS for Music.

The pilot, which started in late 2016, has since been rolled out to venues across the UK including iconic nightclubs such as Ministry of Sound and Fabric and major club chain, The Deltic Group. It will run throughout 2017 with potential to be extended further.

Peter Marks, Chief Executive at The Deltic Group: “Music is the very heartbeat of our business and it’s in our interest to see that talented artists are rewarded for their creations.  With online streaming and other digital technology, it’s increasingly difficult for songwriters and musicians to make a living from their creations, so anything we can do to help and attract and support the latest local talent has to be a good thing.”

Russell Chant, Head of Distribution at PPL commented:  “We are pleased with the progress being made with the MRT pilot, and working with established brands and premises on British high streets will give us greater insight into the music being played in bars and clubs around the country. The readiness of all participating venues to install the recognition devices is a positive move for the recording rightsholders and performers whose music is being played.”  

Lohan Presencer, Chairman, Ministry of Sound: “Ministry of Sound are supporting the initiative by hosting monitoring equipment in-house and would encourage other venues that are approached to do the same, as this is all about helping ensure the right people are paid for the music that keeps clubbers coming in.”

Adrienne Bookbinder, Publishing & Repertoire Manager, Defected Records: “If clubs adopt this technology, DJ sets can be monetised more efficiently, music creators will get paid more accurately and in turn can continue to make the music that fills our clubs and festivals. We all rely on each other, so it’s necessary that club owners, songwriters, artists and rightsholders understand and adapt to the changing climate and work together to keep all areas of the music industry alive.” 

Karen Buse, Executive Director, Membership and International, PRS for Music, said: “We are delighted to have the support of venues across the UK participating in this pilot. We look forward to working with the clubs to gain insight into how technology could help ensure the right people are paid for the music that keeps clubbers coming in.”

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