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BRITISH PROS STEP UP

British PRO PRS for Music has raised more than £2.1m ($2.6m) to help its members severely financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, sister org PPL is bringing forward its June distribution to April, pledging an advance payment to members of £23.9m ($29.7m).

Since its launch in March, the PRS Emergency Relief Fund has helped more than 3,000 songwriters and composers, with more than £1.2m ($1.5m) being paid out so far. 

More than £38k ($47.3m) has been raised and donated to the fund by the general public and PRS for Music staff, with other substantial donations coming from companies across the music industry. Over half of all money raised has been donated by PRS for Music’s charity partner, PRS Members' Fund.

“We have seen first-hand the difference the PRS Emergency Relief Fund has made and I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated so far,” PRS for Music CEO Andrea C. Martin. “Our members are under threat as many parts of the music scene grind to a halt. They need to eat, support their families and pay rent—without industry support the future is challenging during this terrible time. Together we can get through this."

PPL, the U.K.’s music licensing company for performers and recording rights-holders, will make its advance payment of £23.9m to more than 15,000 performers and rights holders at the end of April. The payment will bridge the gap between payments made in March and June as part of its annual distribution schedule.

PPL Chief Executive Officer Peter Leathem thanked "PPL’s staff for their tireless efforts in making this payment happen. It has involved a large amount of additional work; however we felt it was entirely appropriate to take these steps given the importance of cash flow to our members at this time.”

The advance payment joins fundraising efforts from PPL, which recently pledged £700k ($871k) to the emergency hardship funds being administered by Help Musicians, the Musicians’ Union and AIM. The PRO also contributed to the pan-industry fund set up by record labels association the BPI, which saw an additional £1.5m ($1.9m) being made available to the Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund and other channels for supporting musicians. 

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