What is a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) What is a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)

What is a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)

Phillipp Schwarz Phillipp Schwarz

A Performance Rights Organization (PRO) is an organization responsible for collecting and distributing copyrights related to the public use of music. PROs play a vital role in protecting the rights of music authors, composers and publishers by ensuring they are compensated fairly when their music is used in various contexts.


The main activities of a PRO include collecting royalties from public use of music, whether on radio, television, concerts, public venues, streaming platforms, etc. These royalties are then distributed to copyright owners, such as composers, lyricists and publishers, based on the specific use of their works.


PROs typically operate by signing licensing agreements with broadcasters, concert venues, clubs, businesses, and other entities that use copyrighted music. These agreements allow the PRO to collect royalties on behalf of its members.


Each country usually has its own PRO, and there are also international organizations that facilitate collaboration between PROs from different countries to ensure efficient collection and distribution of royalties on a global scale. Examples of well-known PROs include SACEM in France, BMI in US, GEMA in Germany, STIM in Sweden, PPL-PRS in UK, and many others around the world.


To find out which Copyright Collection Society (PRO) is responsible for your territory/country, follow this link.

However, by paying your copyright royalty to your country's PRO, you - as a business owner - only meet 50% of the legal requirements. To meet all legal requirements, and stream music 100% legally in your commercial space, you must also use a B2B music service that is specifically licensed for commercial purposes, such as Soundsuit. In particular, you cannot use mainstream music services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer or YouTube, which do not have a license for broadcast in commercial spaces and public places (learn more).

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