Community Radio Joint Music Licence

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Dear Members & Supporters

Ofcom-licensed community radio stations will recently have received a letter from PPL and/or PRSfM informing you that the two societies intend to launch a new joint community radio licence (the “Joint Licence”).

The intention of the Joint Licence is to simplify the licensing process for Ofcom-licensed community radio stations. In a similar manner to the recently announced Joint Venture between the two societies, the Joint Licence will streamline the licensing process for this sector, creating a single point of contact for licensees.

When proposing new licensing schemes, both PPL and PRSfM have advised the CMA that they are both committed to fair, reasonable and proportionate consultation with the relevant sector, as outlined in detail in each society’s Code of Conduct. Links are provided here for reference:

PPL and PRSfM have asked for an initial phase in which the CMA’s Board will consider the proposals in detail before these are discussed more widely. Licensees will have the opportunity to provide comments directly to PPL and PRSfM on the proposed Joint Licence after discussions between the CMA, PPL and PRSfM.

In order to inform the CMA’s discussion with PPL and PRSfM the CMA has published an online survey seeking views from members and the wider sector on the proposed Joint Licence from PRSfM and PPL. Additionally, should any CMA members wish to share any particular views we would very much like to hear from you via this form:

PPL and PRSfM have asked for the CMA’s initial formal, written response to the Joint Licence and the terms proposed by 18 July 2016. The CMA therefore has a short time left to seek advice, opinion, and counsel from its members and Board prior to submitting a full response to the Joint Licence proposal.

PPL and PRSfM will then respond to the CMA in full before communicating with the wider market, providing full details of the Joint Licence. PPL and PRSfM explained that any deliberation with the CMA would need to be finalised during the week commencing 1 August 2016 in order to allow time to prepare for the launch of the Joint Licence on 1 January 2017.

As far as we know at this stage, each of PPL and PRSfM independently confirmed the intention to continue with each societies’ respective current fee structures, whereby licence fees are calculated as a share of Net Broadcast Revenue subject to annual minimum fees. Although presented as a Joint Licence, both societies will continue to independently set individual licence fees and tariffs. As such, discussions around each society’s fees will continue to remain strictly confidential to each society.

Best regards

Community Media Association

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