Internet Use: Recommended Rates

At a PCAM Committee meeting held on 27 June, it was decided to update two of the recommended Internet Rates to reflect the growing importance of internet campaigns and the fact that they are now quite often stand-alone.

Please bear in mind these recommendations are only guidelines and you are quite at liberty to charge whatever you see fit.

While eventually we feel internet rates should be raised to the same levels as TV rates, the Committee felt that we should move forward slowly and realistically, as there is absolutely no point in recommending rates that no client or agency will pay.

On that basis, we have now changed the PCAM website’s “Advertising – Internet Use” page to say the following:

 Worldwide – Streaming and Non-Downloadable:

  • Typically 600% of composition or arrangement fee.
  • Internet if combined with TV Usage – typically an extra 350%.


Dear PCAM Members,

The PCAM Committee recently decided to raise the basic Composition Fee guide range from £1,000-£2,500 to £2,500-£5,000. This is the fee that is charged for physically creating the composition. This raise is for a number of reasons.

First, a number of members communicated to us that they felt limited and weren’t able to charge for longer compositions. We don’t just work in the 30″ commercial world anymore; many compositions for advertising include three to four-plus minute works for online content, so a higher fee range now forms the basis to charge correctly for these longer works.

Second, the £1,000-£2,500 range has been the same for well over a decade and has become unrepresentative in compensating for modern skill and labour in creating a composition.

Third, and finally, the composition fee is an important amount because all licence fees you charge are calculated as percentages of this figure. As budgets continue to be eroded and licence fees are becoming much more targeted to very specific media, with shorter media schedules, the ability to charge more for your composition provides an opportunity to be fairly remunerated for a project as a whole.

PCAM advises members to set your composition fee at whatever you feel you are worth and to always be fair and reasonable.

For members unfamiliar with PCAM’s helpful guidance on how to budget, there is a simple and easy to understand section on the website under GUIDANCE>FEES & USAGES.

Best regards,

Paul Reynolds
PCAM Acting Chair



IPA/PCAM Approved Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

Nowadays, more and more Clients are requiring you to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before briefing or commissioning a job. As a result, PCAM has agreed a generic NDA with the IPA (The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the main advertising agency industry body) for you to download and use.

An NDA is a unilateral or one-way agreement in which one party undertakes to keep information disclosed by the other party confidential. In addition to the basic confidentiality obligation, the recipient of the information must use reasonable security measures to safeguard the information, and must at all times act in good faith in relation to the information. A general definition of “confidential information” is included, although you may wish to specify exactly what information should be treated as confidential.

The bigger Agencies normally have their own NDA which they ask you to sign, but you can use the PCAM/IPA NDA for smaller clients or your own suppliers.

It is important not to forget that by signing an NDA you are legally guaranteeing confidentiality, so you might want to get any composers, singers or musicians involved to sign one with you as well in order that they understand that they must not talk (or post on social media) about the project until either the commercial is aired or they have your permission.

To download the PCAM/IPA NDA go to www.pcam.co.uk click on “Guidance” and on the drop-down menu “Agreements”.

If you have any queries about the NDA just ring the PCAM Helpline on: 0906 633 0070.


Happy New Year from PCAM

Dear PCAM Members,

Before we all embark on another year of musical mayhem, it’s worth having a quick check of the environment that we are all working in so we know how best to deal with the opportunities and challenges that the New Tear will bring.

I recently wrote an article for Creative Review on the state of music composition in advertising – you can find the article HERE. It wasn’t a creative analysis – more a look at the business environment that we are currently in. It’s not pretty reading in places but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If we are smart in our choices, this year has all the potential to be brilliant for the media composer.

Shortly, we’ll bring you news of other things that we’re currently working on, including a major educational initiative in conjunction with PRS and the Royal Academy of Music.

The PCAM Committee wishes you every success in 2016 and of course a very Happy New Year.

Paul Reynolds
PCAM Acting Chair



PCAM members may be interested in knowing about Clowdy, an organisation dedicated to “connecting the world’s creatives”.

Clowdy is a professional network for artists which solves two issues in the creative industries:

First, creative people don’t have a résumé like people in many other professions because their history is about their projects and art, not where they worked. As a result they generally don’t use LinkedIn.

Second, many people often collaborate on a project but only one person is recognised. Usually, it’s only the musicians or director that get the end credit and not the composer, session players, vocalists, editors, managers, producers and whole host of other people in the industries behind the scenes.

With Clowdy, when someone publishes a project, they credit the people that contributed to it. The project is then automatically added to everyone’s profile – giving everyone the recognition they deserve. This creates a network that will help all creatives connect, be discovered and simply build a portfolio. The service is free.

You can find Clowdy at: www.clowdy.com. Other organisations exist and are springing up that offer similar services, but Clowdy has volunteered to work in partnership with PCAM and to advertise us to people who join them.



The following press release from NOPA, the Norwegian Society of Composers and Lyricists, may be of interest to PCAM members, especially if what has happened in Norway can be followed up elsewhere in Europe.

On 1 September, the Oslo District Court made a ruling requiring all major internet providers in Norway to block access to The Pirate Bay and six similar websites. The rights holders won on every point of their lawsuit.

This judicial decision is a major victory for the Norwegian film and music industry, and an important step towards preventing the theft of intellectual property from Norwegian filmmakers, composers and writers.

Norway is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to streaming TV, film and music. Pirate copying, however, threatens the commercial basis for the existence of such services, and piracy is still a substantial problem, undermining the sustainability of the cultural sector in Norway.

Willy Johansen, Secretary-General of the Norwegian Video Federation, said: “If we are to have a chance of making a living from creating intellectual property in Norway, then we cannot condone widespread theft of intellectual property on the internet. [This] verdict is a major step towards making the internet a place that works for everybody. We have to have the same rules on the internet as elsewhere in society.”

Ingrid Kindem, Chairperson of NOPA, said: “The illegal distribution of film and music is a huge problem that causes considerable loss for filmmakers, composers and writers in Norway. In 2014, there were 2.8 million works registered on The Pirate Bay – most of them illegally shared. This cannot continue. And now, we have achieved a major victory in Norway. This is a devastating verdict for the perpetrators.”

In the spring of 2013, the Norwegian Parliament passed a bill to make important changes to the Copyright Act. These changes gave Norwegian courts of law the legal power to instruct Norwegian internet providers to block websites that contribute to the illegal distribution of music and film.

Now, with its decision on 1 September, the Oslo District Court has implemented this judicial means of preventing pirate websites from enriching themselves through the theft and distribution of the intellectual property of Norway’s creative industries.


PCAM Adds Its Voice To Question MCPS Proposals For Library Music Licensing

PCAM has signed a petition asking the MCPS to delay implementation of proposals to hold a six-month trial during which Large Rights Holders would be permitted to issue licences directly to end users, outside the terms of the MCPS Library Licensing Agreements.

The proposals, which were passed by the MCPS Board on June 11, would enable licences issued during the trial to run until December 2017 and for their terms and conditions to remain confidential.

There are also proposals that this trial, due to start on 1 July, might be extended for unspecified further periods if deemed appropriate.

Meanwhile, those library publishers who do not qualify as Large Rights Holders will be obliged to continue working within the confines of the MCPS Licensing Agreements, creating what many believe to be a commercial disadvantage from which they may struggle to recover.

If their fears prove well-founded, this will inevitably have an impact on writers whose library music incomes are earned through smaller independent libraries.

PCAM agrees with those who believe that this matter is of sufficient importance to require a longer period for wider industry debate and consultation, in which composers should play a full part. It also believes that decisions of this nature, which have the potential to affect the livelihoods of many composers and music companies alike, should be subject to full transparency and accountability.


UK Music Industry Wins High Court Copyright Case Against Government

PCAM members may be interested in a ruling made in the High Court during the week commencing 15 June – a ruling which for once has gone in favour of creators, though how it works out in practice remains to be seen. The report below was compiled from reports by UK Music and MusicTank.

Last week, the High Court today ruled against the UK Government in a Judicial Review case brought by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), the Musicians’ Union (MU) and UK Music.

The three bodies challenged the government’s decision to introduce a private copying exception into UK copyright law, arguing that it was unlawful because it failed to provide fair compensation to rightholders.

BASCA, MU and UK Music had welcomed a change to UK law which enabled consumers to copy their legally-acquired music for personal and private use.

However, ahead of the introduction of the private copying exception, they consistently alerted the government to the fact that in such circumstances significant harm would be caused to rightholders and that European law requires fair compensation to be paid.

Clearly out of step with the majority of EU member states, the UK is alone in having adopted private copy exception without acknowledging the economic harm to rightholders – a contentious point given the inevitable march towards mass adoption of cloud storage and streaming media services, representing a seismic shift towards an ‘access’ model of music consumption.

The High Court agreed with the music industry and found that the government’s decision not to provide fair compensation was based on wholly inadequate evidence, and therefore that Government’s decision was unlawful.

The High Court’s ruling means that the government will now have to reconsider its position.
BASCA, MU and UK Music state that they remain open to “meaningful talks” to resolve the issue.

The outcome of all this won’t be known for some time, but meanwhile, if compensation becomes a mandatory part of any revised law, questions about how any such compensation system might work would come into stark focus.


Jo Dipple, CEO of UK Music said: “The High Court agreed with us that Government acted unlawfully. It is vitally important that fairness for songwriters, composers and performers is written into the law. Changes to copyright law that affect such a vital part of the creative economy, which supports one in 12 jobs, must only be introduced if there is a robust evidential basis for doing so…. It is only right that Government gives us the standard of legislation our music deserves. We want to work with Government so this can be achieved.”

Commenting on the outcome of the case, Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) said: “‘We fully support the arguments put forward by the claimants in the course of the judicial review and are therefore delighted that the Court has accepted their argument that the government’s reasoning in support of introducing the private copying exception without making any provision for fair remuneration of right holders was simply not warranted or justified by the evidence relied on. This is an important decision which goes some way to support the rights of musicians.”

The full judgment can be found here.


PCAM’s Year-End Round-Up

2014 has been a year of focused effort, with progress in many areas, preparing the way for an explosion of activity over the year to come.

PCAM JOINS ECSA: Joining The European Songwriters and Composers’ Alliance is a strategic move to raise our members’ voices on the all-important European stage. We’re grateful to PCAM’s long-standing committee member, Chris Smith, for participating at the General Assembly in Skopje this year and for being so instrumental in the campaigning work going on at EU level to defend creators’ rights. 2015 will see PCAM make a key contribution to the Creators’ Conference in Brussels.

THE ONLY WAY IS ETHICS: Our alignment with European lobbying has helped PCAM to distil a code of ethical working practice that defines what the organisation stands for and around which we will focus all our ongoing domestic campaign activity in 2015. Watch this space for more.

PCAM GETS A NEW LOOK: Over the Christmas break, we are excited to be launching a totally redesigned website that clearly communicates our ethical principles and contains all the essential guidelines and agreements on which our industry relies. You’ll also be treated to a re-brand that reflects our focused outlook and the irrepressible creativity of our membership. We think you’re going to like it!

PCAM SPEAKS UP: During 2014, PCAM stood up to those who seek to undermine the ethical code by which professional composers should be engaged and we entered into a spirited debate with Unilever’s music procurement division over the fundamental principle that professional work should be paid for. We got unprecedented positive feedback from our Chair’s subsequent blog post and by sending a clear message on such an important issue, PCAM has persuaded Big Sync to engage in a working group in the New Year looking at best practice in music commissioning for adverts and how to get the most from working with composers.

COMMON GROUND AT THE IPA: After a personnel shake-up at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, PCAM has recently engaged with the Broadcast and Production Group’s Music Committee in a very fruitful discussion of the various challenges facing our members today. We will be meeting again in the New Year to progress a number of joint initiatives promoting best practice commissioning among all their agency members.

GET INVOLVED: During 2014, many PCAM members have attended our bi-monthly Committee meetings to understand more of what our team of committed volunteers do and to consider how they might also contribute. We heartily welcome members to join us in Central London (with prior notice) between 4pm and 6:30pm on any of the following dates in 2015: 10 February, 21 April, 16 June, 15 September and 17 November. Please contact PCAM Administrator Bob Fromer (bob.fromer@bsuk.com) for directions if you’d like to attend.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Further to our improved social media presence, PCAM will soon be launching a more interactive dimension to our online news feed so that it will be much easier for members to engage directly, to talk about the things that matter and feel the love of our amazing community. Our members are a powerful resource; the more we get to know each other and the better our communication, the more ably we can identify concerns and draw support.

WHISTLE-BLOWING: PCAM has taken decisive and effective action in a number of instances where PCAM members have informed us about companies operating poor, exploitative and/or coercive practice in 2014. In one case, we brought in the full weight of our European partners to great effect.

IN THE PINK: A number of discrepancies in the PCAM/IPA Approved License Agreement for Original Music (aka the Pink Form) have come to our attention and we are working with the IPA lawyers to update the document.

NO FUSS SUBSCRIPTIONS: At long last, PCAM is overhauling its subscription payment mechanism and in 2015 all our members will be given the opportunity to pay membership fees by direct debit via PayPal. We’ll be changing over to a new CMS that offers members an improved profile on our site and will soon be asking you all to update your details and logos to reap the full benefit.

PCAM PODCASTS: With thanks to our friends at Wave Studios, the PCAM Committee has recently recorded a podcast series, sharing their expertise on all the hot topics that concern producers and composers of applied music. The series will launch early in 2015 so watch this space.

USAGES UPDATED: In response to current trends in media use, PCAM has revised its guidelines for internet use, building on the recent review of all territory rates.

COMPOSERS OF TOMORROW: Leading on from our successful participation in a Royal College of Music career event this year, PCAM will restructure its student engagement programme in 2015 in a concerted effort to inculcate good practice among those entering the industry.

MEET THE COMMITTEE: In response to new members’ interest in the people behind PCAM, we’ve also produced a series of short documentary-style interviews with members of our Committee, talking about our backgrounds and why we’ve chosen to give up our time to promote and defend our profession. We had a great time filming this – and we’ve even managed to edit out all the swearing!

WE’RE HAVING A LAUGH: Ever want to moan about what you do but not sound like a griper? PCAM will be promoting a hilarious new tumblr page #IMAKEMUSICFORADS featuring animated gifs illustrating exactly what we really think of our industry. We hope you’ll share the ones that make you laugh and submit more to keep the page going.

So as 2014 draws to a close, we’d like to extend a warm thank you to all our members who make up PCAM’s vibrant community and whose continued commitment to the things that matter have made all this possible. We look forward to standing together with you in 2015 for what promises to be an active and exciting year ahead.

Best wishes to all of you for the holidays!


Fees and Usages Update

Recently all the Territory Usage Rates were revisited and revised taking into account a Country’s GDP (gross domestic product), number of TV sets per capita, trading platform etc. etc.

Now PCAM have revised the Internet Rate (which includes ‘social media’) to reflect the growing importance of this global marketing platform.  The old rate of 250% for Internet only has been increased to 350.

Internet use, by definition, is Worldwide. However, occasionally a client can demonstrate it has geo-locked use to a specific territory. In this instance:

  • If geo-locked to a territory, use that territory’s TV rate;
  • If combined with TV Usage, then an extra 250%;
  • If combined with TV Usage and geo-locked, then an extra 50% of territory’s TV rate (per geo-locked territory).

Don’t forget that if the track features vocals an extra singer’s royalty of 400% to 800% of their BSF (basic studio fee) has to be added and always agree fees with the singer or their agent PRIOR to the recording session!

Please remember all suggested rates are based on a percentage of the Composition/Arrangement fee and are recommendations only – They are not set in stone (which would be illegal).   Go to the <fees & usages> section for further information.