The New MCPS-PRS Podcast License

August 22, 2008 on 11:14 am | In AIM, License, MCPS-PRS, music, UKPA | 2 Comments

The UK Podcasters Association has been working with the Music Alliance over 18 months to help produce a new and workable podcast license, and we’re really pleased with the result.

In the UK, podcasters are well-behaved and very few use music without permission – they tend to stick to using “podsafe” music, often approaching artists and labels directly, so given the fact that most podcasters would like to evangelise music by artists they know and love, it has been one of the UKPA’s central tasks to remedy this situation.

The majority of podcasts are made at the grassroots level in the UK, but until now none of them have been able to use music within the MCPS-PRS repertoire without running into red tape, production restrictions and fees beyond their means, so the license take up to date has not been high.

This new license is important, since applying reasonable royalty rates and removing restrictions on track length encourages the commercial production of content made specifically for the internet, rather than just (as many radio stations do currently) repurposing existing music programming for podcast with the music edited out. The license allows the use of full length music tracks in internet music programmes.

The low-cost start point for this license also potentially brings in the thousands of individual UK podcasters – the “weekend warriors” who cater for multiple niches – and the high-end rates encourage entrepreneurs.

Whilst the major labels still work out their various positions on podcasting, many individual songwriters, artists and labels get the point of podcasting, and see it as a welcome addition to their marketing. AIM took the lead early on and introduced a label opt-in podcast licensing scheme which gives access to their large catalogue – acts including the White Stripes, The Killers, Paul Weller, Bjork.

The Alliance has now provided the missing piece of the puzzle, and we in the UK have a straightforward route to fully legal, full-length track music podcasting – an international first, something of which we should be proud, and something which our friends across the pond would dearly love to have. Individuals, production companies, and broadcast corporations with mass audiences can begin to really use the internet for its benefits.

In an era of fragmenting music revenue, we think that this is a huge opportunity to add a small army of passionate, knowledgable, skillful and (astonishingly) almost entirely *unpaid* music promoters, and we call on more labels to take advantage of this excellent initiative, which in an era of “free” music, potentially returns real value to songwriters and publishers.


  1. […] Silver Skins is a receptacle for music that I am passionate about. The intention behind the podcast was to appeal to a generation who, like me, still loved music and refused to be knocked into any kind of middle-age music box. The passion part also has a lot linked to my ideas behind Blowback: this isn’t cycnical aloof abstraction about music industry trends but genuinely wanting to play the best music I experience – and pass on that experience. I’ve had fans of the podcast contact me, claiming that since listening to the show, they have gone out and bought the album, or seen the musician live. I’ve recently discovered this opinion is shared by UK Podcasters Association and was backed up by The 2008 MCPS-PRS Podcast License. […]

    Pingback by Enhancing My Silver Skins Podcast | Track 23 — March 25, 2010 #

  2. […] yet, so don’t know exactly how low the royalty payments are going to be, but it looks like the UK Podcasters Association has managed to negotiate a new licence with the MCPS-PRS for full-leng…. This could be exactly what’s needed to open the floodgates for legal, professional […]

    Pingback by UKPA negotiates a licence for commercial music podcasting | HubLog — July 16, 2010 #

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