PRS membership categories

There are three categories of PRS membership:

  1. Provisional
  2. Associate
  3. Full

These categories determine the member’s right to attend and vote at the Annual General Meeting and the number of votes to which they are entitled, as detailed in the following table.

* if meeting criteria detailed below, under Additional voting rights of Full membership  
Provisional Associate

Full

Access to Annual Report & Accounts Yes Yes Yes
Attend Annual General Meetings No Yes Yes
One vote on a show of hands No Yes Yes
One vote on a poll or postal ballot No Yes No
Ten votes on a poll or postal ballot No No Yes
An additional 10 votes on a poll or postal ballot No No Yes*
To nominate or be nominated for the PRS board No No Yes

Categories are determined by the member’s PRS royalty earnings and the extent to which these earnings meet, or exceed, set thresholds in one or more years. The thresholds governing qualification for associate and full membership are set by the PRS Board and approved by the membership in a general meeting. Currently, these qualification criteria are calculated on the basis of a percentage of total aggregate payments to members made by PRS in the previous financial year/s. In 2016 the aggregate payments figure was £377,786,210.

Members’ categorisations are reviewed by the PRS Board at the start of each calendar year. Any member who is admitted to a new category as a result of that review will be notified in writing.

Provisional membership

New members and members whose earnings do not meet the qualifying criteria for promotion to Associate or Full member status are known as Provisional members.

Associate membership

Promotion to Associate membership is granted on the basis of total royalties generated by the member’s works in the previous one to three year period. If at any time during that period the provisional member was a member of an affiliated society, the total will include royalties paid by PRS to the affiliate. To become an Associate member a writer or publisher must have been a member of PRS or an affiliated society for no less than one year. The current thresholds (to the nearest £10) are:

Writers

Publishers
£3,780
(.001% of £377,786,210)
£18,890
(.005% of £377,786,210)

All successor members join as Associate members.

Full membership

Full membership is granted in perpetuity if a member’s total royalty earnings reach a higher royalty threshold  in any two of PRS’s three preceding financial years, including royalties collected by PRS and passed on to an affiliated society for distribution. The thresholds (to the nearest £10) are detailed below. A member’s earnings would need to reach two of the three thresholds listed (i.e. either 2014 or 2015 plus 2016):

2014 2015 2016
Writers £24,460  £24,195
£26,445
(0.007% of £377,786,210)
Publishers and successors £122,280  £120,975 £132,225
(0.035% of £377,786,210)

Additional voting rights of Full membership

A Full member will be eligible for an additional 10 votes in a poll or postal ballot if the member’s total royalty earnings reach a higher threshold linked to the date of their admission to membership as detailed in the following table. The eligibility of a member for additional votes is certified on an annual basis.

Admission on or before 1st Jan 1997

(aggregate receipts for period 1st Jan 1997 to 31st Dec 2016)
Admission after 2nd Jan 1997 and on or before 1st Jan 2015

(aggregate receipts for period 1st Jan 2015 to 31st Dec 2016)
Writers £264,450 £528,901
Publishers and successors £1,322,252 £2,644,503