We have one more shot of positive news for you before the Easter break. Creators getting paid; industry relief efforts; artists doing good things… It doesn’t drown out the very real challenges that the coronavirus pandemic is presenting for our community, but it hopefully provides some of the inspiration to take on those challenges as best we can.
Start with British collecting society PRS for Music, whose payments going out to members this month are the highest on record for April – up 15% year-on-year to £174m. How? The society has “prioritised live performance royalty processing, reducing average turnaround time to three months” and thus driving a spike in live monies distributed. PRS also reported “an increase in online royalty processing of major digital service providers and there will be additional focus going forward on the smaller scale services”. Moves that could benefit songwriters and composers well after the current crisis has abated.
Continue with European indie body Impala’s launch of a ‘Covid-19 Map‘ tracking efforts to support the independent music sector on the continent. Based on its survey of members, it’s identifying measures being taken by governments, collecting societies and streaming services among other entities. It’s not all good news – “Many countries need to do more, in particular as regards specific action for music and culture,” said executive chair Helen Smith – but the site will be very helpful in identifying those challenges, as well as the positive steps.
More cheer comes from vinyl-crowdfunding startup Qrates, which is offering 100 free records to artists completing a project on its platform, including storing them in its warehouse for free. Meanwhile, dance-music distributor Label Worx is offering three months of free access to its accounting tool Royalty Worx as well as AudioLock’s anti-piracy service Back Catalogue to any labels who switch to monthly royalty reporting in order to pay artists more quickly.
Elsewhere, Halsey has donated 100,000 face masks to hospitals in California; the Manic Street Preachers have announced two big arena gigs for December: one that will be free for workers in the UK’s National Health Service, and another public concert whose profits will be donated to NHS charities; and Idris Elba is getting people to send him photos and video clips to make a video for artist Emanuel. “I want to document how people are coping, who they are coping with and what they absolutely NEED right now…”
Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash