Behind the scenes at PPL

Find out where music royalties come from and how the teams at PPL collected record revenues for 2013.

In June 2014 we made our main UK payment for 2013 and the second international payment of the year for 2014; we were delighted to announce that this distribution signified another year of continued revenue growth for PPL.

This means that not only were we able to distribute increased payments to our members for the use of their recorded music, but also that the continuous improvements we are making across our business for licensees and members are having a positive and direct impact on what we can deliver to our members.

Growth in PPL revenues was achieved with a strong uplift across our two income streams in the UK which are Broadcast and Online and Public Performance. 2013 saw a 5% growth in Broadcast and Online revenues to £73 million, and a 7% growth in Public Performance income to £69.5 million.

Revenue growth is directly related to the teams at PPL delivering on strategic initiatives across the year. This ranges from our Public Performance new business team proactively contacting businesses to ensure that they are licensed, to our TV Broadcasting team negotiating licence fees with large commercial broadcasters. We are continuously looking for ways to increase the royalties that we pay to our members.

We have also launched new licensing tariffs across key sectors. For example, following consultation with the British Hospitality Association, we launched a new licensing tariff for the supply of recorded music to hotel bedrooms and following consultation with industry trade body UK Active, we also introduced a new Exercise to Music tariff. In 2013 we implemented online licensing functionality on our website to enable internet radio broadcasters to apply and pay for their PPL licence online. We plan to develop this initiative in 2014 to make it available to a broader customer base to help simplify the licensing process.

We also continually drive awareness of the value of music and the need for a PPL licence amongst businesses broadcasting or playing music in public via marketing and PR activities. This helps to ensure that we maximise the revenue we generate. These activities range from tactical advertising and educational editorial information to exhibiting at various trade shows and events across the country, jointly with PRS for Music.

PPL BREs with PRS for Music

(PPL Business Relationship Executives Tracey-Anne Baskerville and Russell Thompson at a joint event with PRS for Music, the Birmingham Business Expo)

In 2013, we also improved the accuracy of our distributions and delivered a 26% increase in the amount of licensee music usage matched to recordings in the PPL Repertoire Database for distribution purposes. This was achieved through improved acquisition and processing of licensee usage data.

With regards to our work to drive international royalties, in 2013 PPL collected over half of all of the monies passing between performer and joint record company and performer collective management organisations (CMOs) on behalf of performers. Our International team also concluded new deals across a number of territories including Serbia and Poland meaning that by the end of 2013, PPL had 68 reciprocal deals in 34 different countries. Furthermore, approximately 8,000 members have benefited from additional increases in their earnings by signing up for Qualified Intermediary (QI) status with PPL in order to release withholding tax of up to 30% on monies earned from the US. Find out more about our International Royalties Collection service, including how to register.

Finally, this year PPL  proudly celebrates its 80th anniversary. To coincide with the release of our 2013 financial results at the company AGM (4 June 2014), we produced a short film highlighting the importance of performance rights revenues in a changing music industry landscape. Hear from PPL CEO Peter Leathem and a host of PPL members and industry supporters by watching the video below.