UK music licensing company PPL paid out over $300m to 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders in 2022

Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL

UK music licensing company PPL has reported that it paid out GBP £244.9 million (USD $301.97m) to 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders in 2022.

These monies were collected by PPL for the use of recorded music in the UK and internationally and were paid out across the company’s four quarterly distributions in 2022, in March, June, September and December.

That total payout figure, of £244.9 million, marked a 7.1% YoY increase versus the £228.7 million that was paid out in 2021.

The 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders who were paid in 2022 marked a 12.2% YoY increase from the 147,000 who were paid in 2021.



PPL says that 2022 saw the highest number of performers and recording rightsholders ever paid by PPL in a calendar year, and it also marks the second-highest total of monies paid out by PPL in a calendar year.

The highest was £260.2 million, in 2020, a total achieved after record collections of £271.8 million the previous year in 2019, before the impact of the COVID pandemic.

PPL says that the record number of performers and recording rightsholders being paid last year “reflects both the important technological and operational investments made by PPL and the neighbouring rights industry over the last decade, as well as the growing membership of PPL”.

The music licensing company claims to have “one of the most comprehensive repertoire databases of its kind in the world”, which it says holds “detailed” performer and recording rightsholder information on more than 20 million recordings.

Over the last 3 years, according to PPL, on average 45,000 new recording details have been received each week.

PPL also notes that it works “closely with partner organisations across the music industry to develop the technology and operations that underpin the neighbouring rights sector”.

This includes building and then operating IFPI and WIN’s RDx data exchange portal (to support the dissemination of recording data from record companies to neighbouring rights CMOs around the world) and being a key player in SCAPR’s Virtual Recording Database (VRDB). PPL says VRDB is improving the quality, use and sharing of performer line-ups on recordings.

PPL’s latest payout announcement comes a month after the company’s  CEO Peter Leathem, a 20-year veteran of the organisation, was granted an OBE in the UK for services to the music industry.

“Not only do we collect hundreds of millions of pounds from the UK and around the world, but each year we distribute this money to more and more performers and recording rightsholders than before.”

Peter Leathem OBE, PPL

Peter Leathem OBE, PPL Chief Executive Officer, said: “Over the last decade PPL has become one of the world’s most successful neighbouring rights companies.

“Not only do we collect hundreds of millions of pounds from the UK and around the world, but each year we distribute this money to more and more performers and recording rightsholders than before.

“This is a testament to both the expert team we have at PPL but also to the efforts of the sector as a whole. Initiatives such as SCAPR’s VRDB and IFPI and WIN’s RDx are improving the technology and data which support the worldwide distribution of neighbouring rights, so ensuring the right people and organisations are paid when their recordings are played.

“It is also positive to be able to pay out more money to performers and recording rightsholders than we did in 2021. Neighbouring rights was naturally impacted by COVID-19 but the sector continues to recover well, with more growth expected in 2023.”Music Business Worldwide

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