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What we distribute royalties for

BPI/MU Subsequent Payments

Under the New BPI/MU Agreement, where a promotional music video has been made for a commercial audio recording, we will collect and distribute subsequent payments for session musicians who are members of the MU at the time of the recording session, and/or who have provided us with an appropriate BPI/MU Session Agreement signed by themselves and authorised by an appropriate representative of the Commissioning Record Label.

The above also applies where the commercial audio recording is used as a backing track for the main artist to perform to on television. For further information please see the MU royalties – guide to Subsequent Payments

BPI/MU video and backing track buyouts

The New BPI and MU Agreement is applicable only to recording sessions that took place from 1 June 2011. Recording sessions prior to this date were covered under the old BPI agreement. Under the old agreement we also collected and distributed income to MU members for the incorporation of the audio performances in promotional music videos and backing tracks.


When a UK audio recording, containing  the performances of session musicians, created for a singular primary use (e.g. commercial audio release or TV theme tune) is subsequently synchronised into any further media (e.g. film, advert or computer game), a payment is due.

Further payments for film synchronisation are covered under our PACT agreement.

Further payments for advert synchronisation are covered under our IPA agreement.

The MU collects and distributes income for all session musicians involved in the recording, regardless of MU membership. For any recordings made outside the UK, this service should be performed by the MU equivalent or industry body in that country.

BBC repeats, re-uses and sales

When the BBC commissions the recording of original music for a theme or incidental use within one of its programmes, the musicians are usually booked through a contractor. If the programme is repeated, sold to another channel or country, or a portion of the programme is re-used within another BBC programme, a payment is due to the musicians who performed on the original commissioned recording under our BBC agreement. These payments are usually made to the contractor, who then passes a share on to each of the musicians.

Some contractors have chosen to pass the role of distributing these secondary BBC payments on to the MU. In this case we will collect and distribute for all the session musicians on the recording regardless of MU membership.

Re-use of audiovisual extracts

Clips of television programmes or films containing the theme tune or incidental music are often re-used within other television programmes, for example talk shows guests being interviewed about their latest film or TV programme. There is also a growing number of countdown, clip or “best of” shows (e.g. 100 Greatest TV Moments or Comedy Connections) which make use of a high volume of extracts from other television programmes.

Where the extract contains a musical element, a fee is collected and distributed by the MU to musicians whose performances are contained within the extracts under our PACT, ITV or BBC agreements. Again, the MU will collect and distribute for all the session musicians regardless of MU membership, however we only perform this service in relation to extracts for which the sound recording was made in the UK. For overseas recording sessions this service should be performed by the MU equivalent or industry body in that country.

Overseas societies

Where income has been collected by an overseas Collective Management Organisation (CMO) for a UK recording, and there is currently no reciprocal agreement in place with any other UK CMO, the MU will, where possible, collect and distribute this income to the appropriate musicians, regardless of MU membership.

Other (royalties/secondary uses)

There are other secondary uses of UK recordings that we collect income for on a less frequent basis. These include:

  • The use of commercial audio recordings containing session musicians as backing tracks for live performance or theatrical performance.
  • The commercial release of live radio sessions containing the performances of session or orchestral musicians.
  • The sampling of recordings containing the performances of session musicians into new commercial audio recordings.

Related downloads

BPI MU Agreement (PDF 497.21 bytes file opens in new window)

MU Royalties - Guide to Subsequent Payments (PDF 415.2 bytes file opens in new window)