June 10, 2020

How do I register my tracks with the PRO’s?

In the UK we have three royalty collection societies: PRS, MCPS and PPL. Whether you need to register your music with them depends on a couple of things?

How do I register my tracks with the PRO’s?

As soon as you've released music you could be earning royalties 👑

In the UK we have three royalty collection societies: PRS, MCPS and PPL.

Whether you need to register your music with them depends on a couple of things?...

  1. Have you written music that you regularly perform live?
  2. Have any of your recordings been broadcast on the radio or TV?
  3. Has your music been reproduced onto CD, as a download, used in a multimedia production, or used by a radio or TV programme?
  4. Do you like filling in forms? Have you got £100 to spare? And are you likely to earn back your membership fee!?!

Have you heard of Sentric Music or Songtrust?

Both are publishing administration companies and both can help you with some of this stuff although they will take a % for doing it. Their job is to make sure you get paid when your music generates royalties where without them, that’s your job!

They’re both worth checking out but if you’re either keen on doing it all yourself and cutting out the middleman or you just want to learn more, then read on…

First, the PRS…

The PRS collect royalties for songwriters and composers when their music is used. It’s about the copyright in the song itself rather than any specific recording.

It costs £100 to join. It’s a one-time fee but it makes it worth considering whether you think you’re likely to earn back your investment.

On the PRS website they have a great little section about ‘When to join

To earn over £100, your music would need to have:

  • one play on a BBC 1 primetime show
  • six plays on Sky 1
  • two plays on ITV
  • three plays on Channel 4
  • five plays on BBC Radio 1
  • 150 plays on an independent local radio station
  • 200 plays on an MTV Music Channel

For live performance, your music will need to be performed at:

  • twelve small-scale venues that are registered in our Gigs and Clubs scheme, such as a local pub
  • two or three larger venues, such as Barrowlands in Glasgow or The Deaf Institute in Manchester

So… if you’re serious about gigging, then you could definitely earn your membership fee back without too much trouble. Some of the other things in the list are slightly more difficult for you to control.

How to join the PRS:

Sign up here. Once you’re in, you will be given access to an online account where you can register your works.

The MCPS

They collect royalties due when your song is reproduced into a new format.

Examples from their website:

You can join the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) if your work has been:

  • commercially released by a record company
  • recorded and used by a radio or TV programme
  • recorded and used for an audio-visual or multimedia production
  • used online.

You have to send them evidence of this usage (detailed here) and again, it costs £100 to join.

It’s not as easy to find the numbers with MCPS so I can’t tell you how you might go about earning back your joining fee but the PRS For Music website recommends that you join MCPS “when your music is released by a record company, downloaded or reproduced onto a CD, DVD or LP.”

How to join the MCPS:

You have to download and print the application form from here

Finally, PPL

You can join PPL as a performer or as a recording rightsholder member, or both.

PPL collect royalties for performers on a recording whenever that recording is broadcast or played in public. They also collect royalties for the recording rightsholder, which could be you too if you’re a self-releasing artist.

Possibly the best thing about PPL… it’s free to join.

So, if you’ve performed on a recording you should definitely sign up.

Recordings need to be registered with PPL for you to receive any payments and they can only be registered by recording rightsholders, so you need to join twice if you own your own recordings.

How to join the PPL:

Use the sign up form here.


Thanks for reading 😉

Feel free to get in touch (hello@amplifyr.co.uk) if you have any questions or if you need any help with any of this stuff.

Rich Hearn - Amplifyr