Business News Labels & Publishers
By Chris Cooke | Published on Wednesday 9 August 2023
UK collecting societies PRS and PPL have announced a partnership with Audoo, which has developed a technology for monitoring what music is being played in pubs, bars, cafes and shops.
The public performance of music by those kinds of businesses needs a licence, and in the UK that licence is issued by the joint venture operated by PRS and PPL.
However, it has always been a challenge when it comes to public performance licensing to know what to do with the money that is generated. Because traditionally societies often don’t know what music has actually been played.
Various companies have been developing audio ID technologies that can help with that problem. And PRS and PPL have already worked with the company DJ Monitor for monitoring what music is played in the bigger club venues.
But there are various challenges that those technologies need to address. For public performance, where music is very much in the background, one challenge is filtering out any other noise.
And also making sure that the conversations of customers are not also being tracked, as that would likely breach privacy and data protection laws, such as good old GDPR.
A statement confirming the tie up between Audoo and PRS/PPL notes how the former’s technology is “designed to be GDPR-compliant and uses smart plug-in technology to securely track and report the music being played in quasi-real-time, without capturing any non-music audio, whether that’s the weather report or private conversations”.
Audoo has physical devices that it places in businesses where music is played which it calls Audio Meters. And by using those devices around the UK, PRS and PPL are aiming “to help drive forward and accelerate accurate and transparent royalty distribution to music creators”.
“This initiative will help PRS For Music and PPL to continue to define the global standard of music royalties”, the statement adds, “enhancing distribution efficiency and delivering optimum payments for their 300,000 collective members”.
Commenting on the partnership, PRS’s Director Of Operational Improvement Tim Arber says: “We are continually investing in new technologies and services to ensure we can pay out royalties more quickly and accurately, delivering the best possible service to members”.
“We have been working with music recognition technology for many years and are excited to see how this collaboration with Audoo can support our ambition to pay out over £1 billion annually in the next few years”, he goes on.
“Helping businesses across the UK to report the music they play through smart data capture will be integral to reaching this milestone and maximising our members’ public performance royalties”.
PPL’s Head Of Distribution Russell Chant adds: “At PPL, we’re always working to ensure that performers, record labels and self-releasing artists are fairly and accurately paid for the music they create”.
“This initiative with Audoo will complement our existing suite of advanced technological tools and public performance music usage data, offering us a further way to check that our distributions are as accurate as possible. We look forward to working with the Audoo team over the coming months”.
And Audoo founder Ryan Edwards says: “This collaboration with PRS and PPL is a milestone in the evolution of the public performance royalty space, for creators, performers and rightsholders, as well as licensees delivering an enhanced experience for customers through the joy of music played in public spaces”.
“Audoo is a proud British business that has designed, developed and continues to manufacture all products in the UK”, he continues, “so it is particularly poignant to launch Audoo at home with global leaders PRS For Music and PPL following the successful impact in other territories”.