PPL pays out £161.2m in record year as international revenue rises

PPL, which collects and distributes licensing revenues on behalf of UK sound recording rights-owners, paid out a record £161.2m to members for 2014 – up 6% year-on-year.

Announced at the PRO’s AGM yesterday, its overall collections stood at £187.1m, also up 6% year-on-year.

In terms of how much admin, staff and other costs ate into that figure, PPL’s cost-to-revenue ratio was 14.1% – the same as in 2013.

Year-on-year growth was achieved across all revenue streams: Public Performance £76.7 million (+10%); International £36.4 million (+6%); Broadcast and Online £74 million (+1%)

The results show that income reached an all-time high of £187.1 million, a 6% uplift on 2013, with year-on-year growth delivered across all UK and International income streams.

International collections increased by 6% to £36.4 million in 2014, achieved despite a decline in the value of key currencies – from a currency neutral perspective PPL grew International collections by 12%.

In 2014, PPL signed nine additional agreements with international CMOs during 2014, taking the total to 75.

In addition PPL said it ‘continued to play a leading role in driving initiatives with CMOs in other territories to streamline data exchange and IT systems’.

The AGM was hosted by Chairman Fran Nevrkla OBE and featured renowned novelist Phillip Pullman as the keynote speaker.

Revenue from the public performance of music across the UK increased by 10% to £76.7 million, continuing the pattern of strong growth in this area over a number of years.

Broadcast and Online revenue grew by 1% in 2014 to £74 million.

This was largely achieved through a return to growth in commercial radio revenues.

In the commercial television sector, where long-term licensing agreements are in place with all of the major broadcasters, revenue was flat year-on-year.

Peter Leathem, PPL CEO said: “2014 has been a very good year for PPLs members. We collected more revenue across all areas of our business in the UK and internationally, and also paid out more of that revenue faster, to more members than ever before.

“We’re not resting on our laurels though, and will continue to invest in our systems and technologies to maximise revenues on behalf of our members. At the same time we are also rapidly progressing our joint working with PRS for Music in the UK and a whole range of CMOs overseas as we continue to seek more efficient and effective ways of working.“

Also at the event, Chairman Fran Nevrkla announced that he will be retiring at the end of 2015, following 15 years with the company. Fran started at PPL in 2000, initially as Chairman and CEO, before assuming the Chairman role outright in 2012.

Peter Leathem, who has been CEO since 2012, added: “Fran has presided over the most radical transformation of PPL in its 81 year history and also its most successful period as a company, overseeing 15 years of significant revenue growth.

“As a former professional violinist and record company executive he has worked tirelessly and with complete determination to do the best job possible for all of PPL’s record company and performer members. He has created the modern day PPL that myself and my team will aim to continue to drive forward.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to Fran from everyone at PPL for all that has been achieved and to wish him all the very best for his retirement.”Music Business Worldwide

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