Revenues at UK licensing org, PPL, hit record high in 2022, up 7.8% to £272.6m

Credit: Madison Phipps/PPL
UK artist Ellie Goulding has expressed her thanks to PPL for collecting public performance royalties for her recorded music

The UK music licensing company PPL has announced that it generated revenues of GBP £272.6 million (USD $336m) in 2022, representing a year-on-year increase of 7.8%.

That marked the highest level of revenue in the company’s 89-year history.

PPL paid 165,000 musicians and recorded music rightsholders in 2022, another record high. That membership figure represented an increase of 12.6% YoY, up from 146,000 in 2021.

PPL has previously confirmed that it paid out GBP £244.9 million to artists and rightsholders in 2022, a figure that was up 7.1% YoY.

Today’s news comes as PPL hosts more than 100 international music executives in London this week for the annual General Meeting of the global trade body for organisations managing performers’ rights, SCAPR.

Headquartered in London, PPL licenses the use of recorded music when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices, etc.) or broadcast on radio and TV, both in the UK and internationally.

Its 140,000 members include independent and major record companies as well as session musicians, up-and-coming acts and globally renowned artists across multiple genres and geographies, including Ellie Goulding, Gregory Porter, Becky Hill, Emeli Sandé and Ella Henderson.

PPL Chief Executive Officer, Peter Leathem OBE, said, “The eyes of the world were upon the UK this weekend as we hosted Eurovision, one of the biggest celebrations of music there is. At PPL, we are proud to stand up for the music rights of our members, both in the UK and internationally, ensuring they receive payment for the use of their recorded music, which plays an important role in our everyday lives as we hear it on radio, TV and in public places.

“Today’s record financial results see PPL’s revenues reach their highest level in our 89-year history. These results are a testament to the quality of the team, the technology and our data at PPL; but that is nothing without the creativity and hard work of our members, who create the millions of high-quality recordings being enjoyed by fans every day.

“These results are a testament to the quality of the team, the technology and our data at PPL; but that is nothing without the creativity and hard work of our members, who create the millions of high-quality recordings being enjoyed by fans every day.”

Peter Leathem, PPL

“In 2022 I am delighted that we paid over 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders – more than ever before – providing a stable and valuable source of income in a recovering and fast-moving industry. Thank you to all those who worked with us at PPL last year to deliver a record year and, more importantly, to keep getting music people paid.”

Ellie Goulding, PPL member and British artist, said, “To make music for a living is an honour and privilege. Knowing that your investment in the creative process will be fairly rewarded when your songs are enjoyed around the world is so important in ensuring you can continue and grow as an artist. Thanks to all at PPL who make that happen.”

Public performance revenues

Revenues from the use of recorded music in public places increased significantly in 2022 following the pandemic.

For PPL, these revenues grew by 39.8% YoY from GBP £72.1 million to £100.8 million.

This also represented an increase on the company’s pre-pandemic public performance revenues of £99.6 million.

The collection of these revenues is conducted by Leicester-based PPL PRS Ltd, a joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.

Broadcast revenues

PPL’s revenues from the licensing of recorded music for radio, TV and online use increased by 8.4% YoY to reach £94.0 million.

New multi-year deals with expanded rights granted were agreed with major TV broadcasters including the BBC (for both its public service and commercial activities), ITV and Channel 4, enabling them to broaden their offerings to users on services such as BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer and ITVX. PPL continued to develop its international webcast licensing, including a new multi-territory licence for Polaroid Radio.

International (ex-UK) revenues

PPL’s international revenues in 2022 reached £77.8 million, declining by £16.2 million on 2021.

Revenue from past periods (i.e. monies related to airplay more than two years old) continued to make up a significant proportion of the international income collected.

However, year-on-year, the proportion of revenue collected for past periods declined, due to the work undertaken by collective management organisations in speeding up their distribution paythrough.

Remaining COVID-19 restrictions also continued to impact revenue worldwide.

The company has 109 agreements in place with its counterparts in 49 territories globally to aid the collection of these monies. PPL claims those 109 deals represent more agreements than any other neighbouring rights business.Music Business Worldwide