UK music licensing company PPL has today announced a 6% uplift in its international revenues in 2014; a £2 million increase on 2013 to £36.4 million, which was 12% growth on a currency neutral basis. Since 2003, PPL has collected over £230 million in international revenues for performers and record companies, and made a vital contribution to the positive balance of payments for music exports that the UK music industry enjoys.*
PPL is responsible for collecting licensing revenues on behalf of performers and record companies when recorded music is played in public and broadcast in the UK and internationally. This revenue stream - which is often termed ‘neighbouring rights’- is increasingly important to the music industry, as physical sales decline and consumption, in a digital age, changes. PPL collects international neighbouring rights revenues through agreements with other Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) around the world. This means that members that have requested PPL to collect for them internationally receive monies when their repertoire is used in the countries with which PPL has reciprocal agreements.
The top three countries from which revenues were collected by PPL in 2014 were the USA (£9.6m), Belgium (£5.6m) and the Netherlands (£3.9m) and significantly higher year-on-year payments were received from Finland (£1.3m) and Poland (£1m). The majority of the revenue was collected on behalf of the performers (£30.7m), and the remaining amount on behalf of independent record companies. PPL now collects more than 50% of all performer neighbouring rights payments* moving between CMOs throughout the world, meaning that it is the dominant player in International neighbouring rights collections.
The growth in PPL’s international neighbouring rights revenues in 2014 can be attributed to a number of factors. The company has continued to increase the number of record companies and performers for whom it collects internationally. It has also increased the number of CMOs with which it has agreements; in 2014, 9 new agreements were signed, bringing the current total up to 75. PPL has also continued to improve the quality of its data and IT systems that crucially support its operations, leading initiatives with a host of CMOs in other countries to help streamline data exchange and IT systems, to maximise revenues for members in what has historically been a challenging marketplace. This work is crucial for UK record companies and performers in ensuring that they are fairly paid by overseas CMOs moving forward as the international collections market continues to grow and increase in importance.
Laurence Oxenbury, Director of International, PPL said: “PPL has really driven this market over the last 8 years, which has caused many people to sit up and take note of the potential of this revenue stream. We are delighted with the progress that we made in 2014 in growing our international collections while remaining at the forefront of addressing the many challenges associated with international rights management so as to ensure growth in the future as well.”
*When the IFPI last provided figures in 2013 neighbouring rights income around the world had crossed the USD 1 billion threshold, accounting for 7% of total industry revenues, up from 4% five years earlier.
** According to data from SCAPR, the international umbrella body for Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) for performers.