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PPL MAKES RECORD PAYOUTS

U.K. music licensing company PPL collected £271.8m for performers and recording rightsholders in 2019 — an increase of nearly 10% (£25m) over 2018. The biggest chunk of growth came from international collections, which grew 22% to £86.7m.

Broadcast and online income grew by 2% to £85.5m and public performance and dubbing (which covers the commercial copying of music by specialist companies that supply music systems to businesses) rose 8% to £99.6m. 

In 2019, PPL distributed money to more than 108,000 performers (up 15%) and 11,000 recording rightsholders (up 10%), which is the first time that the company has paid more than 100,000 different performers in a single financial year.

“We saw record revenues and paid out performance royalties to more performers and recording rightsholders than ever before,” said Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL. “Such success benefits the growing community that we represent both in the U.K. and internationally." 

The £15.8m rise in revenue for PPL’s international collections business was driven by income from a number of collective management organizations, including those in Germany, France, USA and the Netherlands. Throughout 2019, PPL also received cash from a number of territories for the first time, including CMOs in Africa and Latin America. It now has more than 95 international agreements with its counterparts around the world and last year six new bilateral agreements were signed with CMOs in Asia, Europe and North America. 

For radio, growth was driven in part by a rise in advertising income from the commercial radio sector and by an increase in the number of smaller radio broadcasters and online linear webcasters acquiring licences. Public performance and dubbing income increased in the second full year of PPL’s public performance licensing joint venture with PRS for Music.

The company has taken additional steps to help its members and the wider music community during the current crisis—in March, PPL made a payment of £87.6m to more than 26,000 performers and recording rightsholders, which was followed with a further advance payment of £23.9m in April to over 15,000 performers and rightsholders. In addition, it has made (and will continue to make, says Leathem) a number of contributions to industry hardship funds.

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