UK music licensing company PPL paid out a record £98m to musicians and recorded music rightsholders in June

Photo credit: Christopher Bill via Unsplash

PPL, the UK’s music licensing company for recorded music, has made a record quarterly payment to more than 121,000 performers and recording rightsholders, in its second distribution of the year.

On Friday (June 30), the company paid out a total of £98 million – a rise of 37% year-on-year from the £71.3 million paid out in June 2022, with income growing across all areas of UK licensing after revenues were affected in the previous two years by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included within the June distribution total is revenue from the licensing of music videos via PPL’s sister company, VPL, when they are played in public. Just over £2.5 million was paid out to recording rightsholders.

The payment, according to the org, represents the largest amount ever paid out in a single distribution by PPL. It is comprised of collections from the licensing and use of recorded music both in the UK and internationally.

PPL also says that this distribution also marks the largest-ever number of performers and recording rightsholders to receive a payment in June, either as a direct member of PPL or via another collective management organisation (CMO) with which PPL has an agreement.

These quarterly all-time highs have been achieved in the wake of record annual results for the company in 2022, when it delivered the highest level of revenue in its 89-year history.

PPL announced in May that it generated revenues of £272.6 million (USD $336m) in 2022, representing a year-on-year increase of 7.8%.

The organization highlights classical music as a genre that is seeing substantial growth, reporting that more than £5 million of the overall UK money distributed by PPL for 2022 went to classical performers and recording rightsholders, a rise of more than 50% since 2017.

PPL recently appointed specialist George Prince to a role focused on the genre.

PPL says that this latest distribution “has been made possible by PPL’s significant investment in technology and operations”.

The company claims to be “a pioneer in the management of metadata”. PPL’s Repertoire Database now holds the details of approximately 24 million recordings, with more than 45,000 being added on average every week.

On behalf of its partners at IFPI (the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) and WIN (Worldwide Independent Network), the company developed and operates RDx (Repertoire Data Exchange), a hub for communicating data about recordings and their ownership from record companies to collective management organisations.

It is also a charter member of DDEX, the international standards organisation for data exchange in the music industry.

“This record June distribution demonstrates the high demand for the music we are proud to represent.”

Christine Geissmar, PPL

Christine Geissmar, PPL’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This record June distribution demonstrates the high demand for the music we are proud to represent. Our success is built on a network of strong relationships with the people who work so hard to create and market British music.

“The global financial rewards and cultural standing achieved by this country’s music industry reflects that effort. We are proud to be supporting performers and recording rightsholders all over the world by ensuring they are fairly paid for their output.

“These outstanding results are also testament to the quality of our team, which uses its expertise and deep understanding of innovative technology to help us to identify and pay rightsholders and performers for their work.”Music Business Worldwide