PRS for Music, a UK-based performing rights society has supposedly enlisted the help of Google to help report performance fees for music played in public more accurately.

Performance fees are fees paid to artists, publishers, and owners of copyrighted material (in this case songs) whenever they are played in public be it television commercial, radio broadcast, the speaker system at your local H&M, sports arenas, and even concert halls.

The current methodology used in determining said fees are reliant on radio logs, television and film companies’ cue sheets, and even sample surveys which randomly track songs for hours in different public venues. While those methods might have been efficient at some point in time, technology has moved on to a point where an improved way of determining these fees are needed.

In an interview with Forbes, PRS chief executive Robert Ashcroft described a physical device that would sit in bars, clubs and shops and track the music played. The device, which currently uses the Google Play Music library to identify what it hears, would work like Shazam to give PRS accurate play counts.

As it currently stands the device is some ways off from completion and also not cost-effective enough to employ on a large scale. Once finished however the hope is that the device will put more money into the pockets of independent artist and less into that of majors who generally take larger cuts of performance fees.


H/T: Dancing Astronaut