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PPL Report Record High of £86.7m in International Collections

The MU today welcomed the news that music licensing company PPL has collected £86.7m in international monies in 2019 and achieved a growth of £15.8m on the total secured in 2018.

Published: 07 February 2020 | 12:00 AM
Photograph of vintage style model record player, and silly animal hanging from ceiling holding a vinyl record
PPL has collected £86.7m in international monies in 2019 and achieved a growth of £15.8m on the total secured in 2018. Photo credit: Shutterstock

This money has been collected overseas - where recorded music rights exist - for public performance, broadcast and private copy. The company achieves this through almost 100 agreements with collective management organisations across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.

As PPL also acknowledges, this impressive return is possible thanks to the talented artists and recording rights holders who have entrusted PPL with their rights.

The potential to make a huge difference

Phil Kear, MU Assistant General Secretary - Music Industry, said:

“On behalf of the MU, I would like to congratulate CEO Peter Leathem, and the entire PPL team, on an amazing set of international results for 2019. This additional income has the potential to make a huge difference to the lives of our session musician members.

“As referenced by renowned session saxophonist Chris ‘Snake’ Davis in his interview, alongside Peter, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, the initial payment session musicians receive for going into a studio and performing on a recording is incredibly modest.

"Without the additional licensing fees received from PPL, and the work of our own Recording & Broadcasting department, becoming a session musician would not be a financially viable career choice."

A potentially difficult road ahead for streaming income

Phil continues:

“Whilst session musicians have the right to receive a share of income from PPL for traditional radio and television broadcasts and plays of their recordings in public venues such as shops, restaurants and bars, there is currently no income whatsoever for session musicians from streams on sites such as Spotify, Amazon and YouTube.

“The last few years have seen an astounding increase in the use of such sites to the detriment of audience figures for traditional radio and television broadcasts, especially in the 15 to 24 age group. Our concern is that this will eventually lead to a reduction in the PPL licensing income on which session musicians are so reliant.

“The MU is working hard, alongside PPL and other industry bodies, to try to negotiate a share of streaming income for session musicians, but it is a potentially long and difficult road ahead.

"In the meantime, we wholeheartedly applaud PPL’s hard work and sincerely hope they can continue to maintain such impressive results in future. Our members’ careers depend on it.”

Find out more about the MU's Recording & Broadcasting department and the services we offer.