The organisation has launched a new ‘licensing option’ called Extended Access, which lets PR agencies continue to use content for up to 365 days from the day of publication. Without it, access is limited to 28 days for print and 100 days for online content.
Licensees must pay an additional 10 per cent on top of current fees. These vary by type of licence, employee numbers and other factors, and can run into several hundred or sometimes thousands of pounds per year.
NLA Media Access licences allow agencies to send copies of articles externally to their clients. The body, previously known as the Newspaper Licensing Agency, said the new licence will allow access to 3,600 newspaper and magazine titles and more than 2,100 web titles.
The group has two licences for PR agencies: the Standard PR licence and the PR Client Service Licence. The latter, launched in 2015, and said to have take up of more than 90 per cent among agency licensees, was introduced to simplify the process. At the time it received heavy criticism from the PRCA, which described the move as "smoke and mirrors" and vowed to challenge it.
The PRCA was more positive about the latest change when contacted by PRWeek, however. Director general Francis Ingham said: "We welcome the new NLA focus on making life simpler for those who provide newspapers with their content. Under their new leadership, the NLA’s attitude towards content creators has shown welcome signs of change.
"As practitioners know, we have always been vigorous in standing up to the NLA and defending our industry’s legal rights - and we always will be. We are happy, though, also to welcome good news. And while we will be pressing the NLA to go further – and keeping a watchful eye on the delivery of what they have announced – this most certainly seems like the kind of change we have always campaigned for."
NLA Media Access MD Henry Jones, who joined in 2016 from media intelligence firm Meltwater, said: "We made inroads on simplification with the PR Client Service Licence… and we continue to look for ways to continue to reduce complexity whilst operating a fair and transactional system that benefits both our licensees and the publishers we represent.
"Additionally, many licensees have voiced frustration at the inability to access important past content when, for example, comparing quarter-by-quarter activity or campaigns.
"Through long discussions with our publishers, whom of course are rightly protective of their content, and the help of some of our international counterparts who have similar offerings, we have been able to solve this issue with the launch of Extended Access."
The organisation returned £36m to publishers in 2017, it said.