This article published December 2015. For latest news THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

UK convenience sector wasting more than £10m a year in PRS and PPL fees

Data gathered by in-store music experts, FreedomMusic, reveals that UK convenience stores are spending over £10m a year in PRS (Performing Rights Society) and PPL (Public Performance Limited) tariffs for playing licensed music to their staff and customers in their stores.

In 2005, PPL – the body that imposes fees and collects payments on behalf of record companies – increased charges that saw tariffs rise by as much as 192% for some retailers. Since then, retailers have been faced with paying extortionate fees in order to play licensed music in-store.

Raj Aggarwal, a member of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and the owner of three Spar convenience stores in the UK, as well as an Insomnia coffee shop, recently switched to license free music in his stores, lifting the burden of PRS and PPL tariffs. “Being able to play music in our stores has always been important, however, we couldn’t justify the huge spend in PRS and PPL fees that’s associated with chart and licensed music. Switching to license-free music has allowed me to play music to staff and customers at a fraction of the cost without compromising on the quality,” said Aggarwal.

Nick Findlay, founder of FreedomMusic, said: “Switching to license-free music poses as a huge benefit to independent retailer groups; it gives smaller, independent stores, the opportunity to benefit from an economy of scale that would of otherwise not have been available by playing licensed or chart music in their stores. We are thrilled to be working with retailers such as Raj, helping them to make this huge cost saving and reinvest that money in other business-building initiatives.”

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