skip to main content

Subsequent Payments for Music Videos

Subsequent Payments are due to musicians when their recorded audio performance is incorporated in a commercial sound recording.

Last updated: 02 November 2020

Under the MU/BPI agreement (since 2013), Subsequent Payments are due to musicians when their recorded audio performance is incorporated in a commercial sound recording for which a promotional music video has been made, and/or is used as a backing track for performers to mime or sing live with in a broadcast.

The MU Royalties team administers this payment, researching music video releases, obtaining line-up information, liaising with labels and with VPL, processing the payments, allocating payments and distributing payments and statements to musicians and providing follow-up services.  

Eligibility for a Subsequent Payment

You need to have recorded your performance under the MU/BPI agreement, or you need to be an MU member at the time of recording.  The recording must be a UK recording, a commercial release, and must be incorporated into a music video or a backing track that is used within a broadcast.  It must also be registered with VPL as a video format release by a UK record label.  If you are recording under a different kind of agreement, you may not qualify for a Subsequent Payment. 

Subsequent Payments apply to traditional-format music videos only.  They do not apply to electronic press kits, vertical videos, lyric videos, documentary-style live videos, films, or any other non-traditional promotional videos.  Payments only apply to videos of recordings made in 2013 or later.

Making and sourcing Subsequent Payments

The commissioning record label is responsible for providing the funds for payment, however, the MU is responsible for collecting payment from the labels via VPL and then distributing it to the qualifying musicians. 

VPL collect license fees for the public performance and broadcast of promotional music videos and, after deducting its own costs, annually distribute the fees to their members (video rightsholders).  Each year a Subsequent Payments fund is determined, based on 6.35% of the total VPL distribution for that year, and MU determines the percentage share of the fund relevant labels will contribute. VPL deduct the amount of each label’s Subsequent Payments from their distribution and pay this amount to the MU as Subsequent Payments for onward distribution to musicians.

Your questions, answered

How much is the monetary value of a Subsequent Payment?

A Subsequent Payment is not of a fixed value, and can change from year to year depending upon a number of variables, including: the size of the VPL fund that year, the number of qualifying music videos and backing tracks that year, the number of qualifying performers on the recording in question.

What is the cost deduction listed on my statement?

The cost percentage (currently 16%) is the cost of collecting and distributing the income and is based on the work required to process the claim.  In line with the MU’s general distribution policy, the cost deducted is never greater than the actual cost incurred.

When will I receive my Subsequent Payment?

Distribution is scheduled in line with the annual VPL distribution, and so is made the calendar year following the release of music videos and backing tracks, typically between July and September. 

Do I need to claim a Subsequent Payment?

You don’t need to submit a claim to the MU for Subsequent Payments, however if you supply us with clear scans of your MU/BPI agreement we can log your session and archive your form for you.  This can help us identify qualifying performances.  Where the MU does not hold a copy of a session agreement, we may refer to the PPL repertoire database for line-up information, so please ensure your PPL claims are always up-to-date.  Before submitting claims to VPL on your behalf, we refer to the commissioning record labels for confirmation of and amendments to the final lineups.

I think I have missed out on a Subsequent Payment I should have received

This can happen from time-to-time, such as when the MU do not hold copies of the relevant session forms, when the PPL database doesn’t have the full lineup, or if there was an error in the registration of the track with VPL (e.g. an incorrect country of recording).  If you believe there has been an error, please contact us so that we can investigate.  Payments can be applied retrospectively if required.

Why haven’t I received a Subsequent Payment for all my videos?

Subsequent Payments only apply to traditional-format videos for commercial recordings that were made in the UK.  They only apply to performers who have recorded under the MU/BPI agreement, or who are MU members at the time of recording.  Payments only apply to videos of recordings made in 2013 or later.

Why didn’t everyone in my band receive a Subsequent Payment?

It’s likely that they either do not meet the qualifying criteria, or they are not listed on the lineup on the MU’s session and recording database.  Have your bandmate or colleague contact the MU with their MU/BPI form for consideration.

Do Subsequent Payments attract VAT?

Yes, VAT is payable where the musician is VAT registered.  Please contact us with your VAT number and start date and we will retrospectively apply VAT where applicable to your past and future payments.