BTW Graham we sent them as indicated. I just didn't close the circle yesterday and tell you.
Oh, my goodness, did I ever send this back to you?!
Hi. I'm just on the verge of signing up to PRS (UK equivalent to BMI). It seems to me that they are going to collect any royalties on my behalf, but I just wanted to check that this is correct (there are costs involved and I don't want to get it wrong!).
Thanks for your help.
Yah, I saw the costs. ASCAP charges too, but not as much. BMI is "free" for writers, but publishers... not so much. Anyway... PRS or any other PRO is not going to collect any and all royalties on your behalf. Just some of them... They won't collect your mechanical royalties, and they won't necessarily collect sync royalties for example. The best analogy I've heard is that an artist/writer's income consists of a bunch of tiny streams that hopefully together add up to enough to keep you hydrated. A PRO is just one of those tiny streams.
You wouldn't necessarily be wrong or right, but there are consequences and I've heard a few conversations lately about which path is right for a particular artist. One of them for example has to do with Internet Radio stations being more inclined to play your stuff if you aren't a member. That's because they'd have to pay them for every spin of your song, which might sound fair unless you need the exposure and they decide not to play your song at all. BTW Terrestrial Radio has NEVER had to paid for spins because there is a loophole in the law that assumes Radio exposure is so wonderful for you that they shouldn't have to pay for the amazing benefits they're giving YOU. In fact, maybe YOU shoud pay THEM, but that's another Payola scandal entirely.
PRO's might eventually die. I don't think so, but its reported that they are struggling. They take a chunk out for themselves which is difficult to gain visibility on about how its calculated. You can imagine though if you are Spotify, that instead of paying the PRO they might try to make artist/writers a deal and pay them directly for performance royalties and ultimately save some. We do know that major label have their own deals with some of the streaming services out there.
How important that trade-off is is up to you, and how much you think you might make from the PRO anyway. Today I belong to a PRO.