All cinema operators are required to make music rights payments.

In the UK, payments are due to two different organisations.

  • PRS for Music collect on behalf of songwriters and composers
  • PPL collect on behalf of musicians.

PRS for Music

All cinemas operators are required to pay a fee to PRS for music played in their sites, whether as part of a film or event or simply as background music in foyers and auditoriums.

The current tariff for music rights payments to PRS can be found here. This gives cinema operators the option of making payments caiculated either as 1 per cent of box office or on a ‘pence per admission’ (PPA) basis. The PPA measure for 2019 is 6.25p per admission. PRS fees are paid on an annual basis.

Music-based event cinema is calculated at 3 per cent of box office.


All cinemas operators are required to pay a fee to PPL for music played during the entry and exit of audiences and during intervals between the performance of films or for additional use in other areas of the cinema complex e.g. foyers, separate bars and restaurants etc.

The current tariff for music rights payments to PPL can be found here. This is a ‘flat fee’ payment running from September to August each year.

UKCA members are entitled to a 20 per cent discount on the total fee payable.


In 2016 both PRS and PPL announced plans to bring together administrative functions around the two tariffs through the establishment of a new joint venture.

In 2018 it was confirmed that while the two tariffs would continue to be calculated and negotiated separately, a new joint licence – TheMusicLicence – would be established from January 2019.

Given the different timelines of the two tariffs, it was proposed that UKCA members would be invited to take up a short term PPL licence to run from September-December 2018, with the new single licence then running from January 2019.

UKCA members will continue to receive the above 20 per cent discount on the PPL element of the new tariff.

If you have any questions, or if you cannot see what you are looking for here, please contact us.