Exploring PPL’s 2018 Distribution

PPL distributed £150.7 million to performers and record companies in June 2018. Here we provide insight into how the process works.

At the end of June PPL made its largest ever distribution to performers and record companies. A sum of £150.7 million was distributed, with more than 86,000 performers and record companies receiving a payment. This figure was 12 per cent higher than the previous record distribution of £135 million in June 2017.

How does PPL allocate distributions?

PPL calculates how much each member has earned after money has been collected from licensees in the UK. PPL then distributes the money to the relevant performers and recording rightsholders, taking into consideration the deduction of costs and any other adjustments. This process differs slightly for international collections. The calculations for these are carried out by collective management organisations that have agreements with PPL. The final calculated amount is then provided to PPL for distribution.

We receive reporting and information on recorded music played by TV and radio broadcasters, music suppliers and UK businesses. From the information gathered, we match the recorded music played against the PPL repertoire database, which contains information on more than 12 million commercially released recordings.

The allocation amount is then calculated for each recording depending on how often it has been played in public or broadcast. The amount paid is affected by a range of factors such as, for example, on which radio station or TV channel the recording has been played, the amount of airplay it has received and the size of the audience.

The total allocated amount for a single recording is divided between the rightsholders and performers according to PPL’s  distribution rules. Usually, performer allocations are divided between the performers listed on a single recording, either based upon their contribution to that recording or as agreed privately between those involved in the recording. Further detail on performer allocations can be found in our distribution rules, particularly rule 12 and schedule 5, which are available on our website.

We invest in technology to help further increase the accuracy of our payments and to ensure that those who have invested their time, talent and efforts to make recorded music are fairly paid for their work. For example, the June distribution incorporated, for the first time, the use of music recognition technology (MRT) in licensed bars and clubs across the UK, to inform some of the payments in an initial pilot phase. 

Where did the money come from?

Broadcast licensing

PPL licenses over 1,800 radio, TV, and online broadcasters in the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. For radio this includes everything from traditional AM/FM broadcasting, to DAB and online radio. For TV, PPL licenses digital, satellite and cable TV services as well as online catch-up services.

International collections

Through 90 agreements with collective management organisations (CMOs) around the world, PPL is able to collect revenue on behalf of performers or record companies where their recorded music is played in the countries where these agreements are in place.

In the June payment, significant amounts were distributed for performers and record companies from CMOs in Germany (GVL), France (ADAMI), Netherlands (SENA & NORMA), Belgium (Simim) and the USA (SoundExchange). Additionally, the first payments of monies from PPL’s recently signed agreements with Lithuania (AGATA) and South Africa (SAMPRA) were made.

Public performance licensing

Public performance refers to the licensing of recorded music when it is played in public. This includes, for example, the recorded music you hear in pubs, bars, clubs, coffee shops and hairdressers.

The public performance revenue included in the June 2018 distribution was collected by PPL in 2017, prior to the launch of PPL PRS Ltd. Following the commencement of business at PPL’s joint venture with PRS for Music in February 2018, revenue collected by PPL PRS Ltd will be included in PPL’s main distribution for the first time in 2019. PPL PRS Ltd was created to provide customers with a streamlined service, a single point of contact, and a joint licence covering both PPL and PRS for Music’s respective rights, thereby simplifying the administration and making it easier to play music in public.

If you have questions on the 2018 distribution, or a question about your payment, please contact PPL’s Member Services team at memberservices@ppluk.com.