International Collections at U.K. Licensing Company PPL Reach Record High

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International collections at U.K. music licensing company PPL have more than doubled over the past five years, reaching a record high of £86.7 million ($112 million) in 2019. 

The year-end figure represents a 22% rise on 2018’s total and a mammoth 136% increase on 2015 when international receipts totaled £36.7 million ($47 million at current conversion rates). 

In 2006, PPL's international revenues were just $8 million. Since then, PPL has collected £515.8 million ($667 million) in international neighboring rights. 

“As music consumption increases around the world, in many different countries, PPL is well-positioned to continue getting music people paid,” said Laurence Oxenbury, PPL’s director of international, announcing the results. 

He said international collections have steadily grown to become a vital source of income for the London-based organization, supporting the music ecosystem and “allowing performers to keep creating and developing, and recording rightsholders to support the artists that they represent.” 

Founded in 1934, PPL represents over 110,000 performers and record companies, and licenses recorded music to British TV and radio broadcasters, as well as for public performance (I.E. music played in shops, bars, nightclubs, offices). 

Outside the U.K., PPL has agreements with over 95 collective management organizations (CMOs) around the world, enabling it to collect monies for the use of its members' repertoire in international radio or TV broadcasting, public performance, private copying or dubbing.

2019 saw PPL sign new agreements with CMOs in Kazakhstan (Amanat), Netherlands (STAP), Slovenia (IPF), and Ukraine (ULCRR), as well receive first-time payments from Albania, Georgia, Panama, Paraguay and South Korea. 

PPL said notable payments were also received from CMOs in the United States, Germany, France, and Holland in 2019, although financial details were not provided. 

“Collaboration with our international counterparts is central to the progress we have made with our collections, as is our investment in leading-edge technology and data infrastructure,” said PPL CEO Peter Leathem in a statement. 

He said the increase in neighboring rights reflected “the quality and scale of artists and rightsholders” represented by PPL internationally, which range from “established legends to today’s brightest new talents.” 

“It is an honor to represent so many performers and rightsholders on the world stage,” said Leathem, “and we will continue to stand up for their music rights in 2020.” 

In 2018, PPL collected £246.8 million (then $318.9 million), paying out £210 million ($271 million) to more than 105,000 performers and recording rights holders. Its financial results for 2019 are due to be published in the next few months. 


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