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How football clubs can make significant savings on their music licenses

Tue 14th Jun 2016 | Marketing & PR

If you were to compile a music playlist based on the average football match, it’d be an incredibly eclectic mix.

It’s hard to imagine where else you’d hear the tune of Knees Up Mother Brown rubbing shoulders with Profokiev’s Dance of the Knights; there isn’t a radio station in the world that would attempt to segue Welsh hymn Cwm Rhondda into Go West.

Yet these are all a completely standard, and utterly integral, part of the football experience. From terrace chants, to the pre-match ‘run-out’ and half-time music, to the tunes played in bars, atriums, and corporate hospitality, football and music go hand in hand. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a game with no music involved.

But as all clubs will know, any music that isn’t being sung by the crowd will usually come at a cost. Any club that plays recorded music as part of its matchday experience will be subject to licence fees, from two organisations, PRS for Music and PPL.

These licences are calculated based on music usage and the application of a number of tariffs, but the system can be much improved. According to Rob Gilbert, Managing Director at My Music Solutions, ‘substantial savings’ can be made when clubs are looking at this area of expenditure.

“It’s very difficult for the licensee to become familiar with the tariffs and their application as the renewals come around just once each year. We have evidence to suggest that fee miscalculations take place on a fairly wide scale, resulting in stadium operators paying too much for the music they use, as the performing rights organisations take their declarations at face value and charge the licensees accordingly,” he said.

Rob says that this situation isn’t exclusive to football clubs – organisations of all sizes, across a range of sectors, are subject to these issues. However, it can be magnified at football clubs, mainly because of the unique way in which they operate and do business.

The performing rights organisations operate a system which analyses the music use in the ‘bowl’ – ie inside the stadium’s seating area and pitchside – and in the bars, corporate hospitality, concourses, changing rooms, offices and beyond.

Many clubs are alive to the opportunities available by using the stadium more frequently throughout the calendar year, for events, conferences, hiring out meeting space, etc, although the majority of the building remains unused, the majority of the time. Rob adds it is crucial to ensure the licence declarations, and tariffs, reflect this, and says My Music Solutions ensures its clients only pay for the music they use.

“The savings can be considerable and we have so far seen reductions averaging 24% per annum across the sector. One Premier League club saw a drop of 48% and received a refund for the previous year too. It might seem modest in comparison to many modern transfer budgets, but to an operations manager, a few extra thousand pounds plus can go a long way. Plus, there’s always the point of principle – why should

anyone pay more for their licence than they are meant to?”

So what can be done? Well, speaking to My Music Solutions is a good start. The firm offers a no-saving, no-fee agreement and usually charges based on a percentage of the amount saved, so there is no risk.

“We have already worked with a number of football clients, across all leagues, and in every case we have been able to save them time and money. It’s worth giving us a call to see if we can help.”

My Music Solutions can be found at www.mymusicsolutions.com or are reachable on 0191 260 0708. Email hello@mymusicsolutions.com for more information.

PRS for Music and PPL explained…

PRS for Music and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) are separate ‘collecting societies’ who license different sets of rights in the use of music. PRS for Music are a society of songwriters, composers and music publishers who license the use of their members’ musical compositions and lyrics when they are played in public. PPL licenses the use of recorded music where played in public on behalf of record companies and performers.

Posted by: Kev Howland 

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