New proposals to simplify the PRS tariff could result in retailers being hit with a higher charge for playing music in store.

The PRS for Music consultation suggested increasing the tariff for businesses that currently have a reduced rate for broadcasting music within a small audible area. The estimated cost to the convenience sector would be £1.26m per year.

In a submission to the consultation, the ACS voiced concerns that tariffs would increase for the convenience sector while the largest stores would get a reduction in costs.

“The proposed changes from PRS for Music will disproportionately affect small retailers,” said ACS chief executive James Lowman.

“Removing the reduced rate for the smallest retailers is not appropriate, especially when convenience stores are experiencing cost increases in many other areas of their businesses.”

Steve Hills, head of licence simplification & tariff development at PRS for Music, said: “We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in our Retail Tariff consultation, the purpose of which is to engage with our customers and trade bodies and participate in an ongoing dialogue about simplifying our retail tariff.

“We will be reviewing all responses received, which includes comments and suggestions received from smaller retailers, and will be publishing the results before we make any decisions regarding our current retail tariff.”