Latvia grows revenues with PPL’s business services

In 2014, LaIPA became the first international CMO to outsource its distribution and repertoire management to PPL, drawing upon our considerable investment in IT systems and sound recording data. As a small country with immediate needs, Latvia was an ideal market for PPL to roll out its back end business services. Like many smaller CMOs, LaIPA’s previous IT system was struggling and the cost of replacing it would have been prohibitive, especially given the size of the market. There was also pressure from recording rightsholders, with high levels of unmatched recordings and money not being distributed to the correct artists.

Latvia was by no means alone in facing these problems. For many smaller territories or developing markets, CMOs might not have the same level of information on repertoire that PPL boasts. Or they might have built their own systems that don’t scale or enable swift and effective payment. But now CMOs like LaIPA can make use of PPL’s existing systems to take on some of this heavy lifting.

“The first advantage we have is we have the repertoire to match to,” said PPL’s Director of International, Laurence Oxenbury. “The second advantage is we have the scale and technological clout to answer some of the questions that data quality poses.” 

Moving to full distribution

PPL first began working with the Latvian CMO in 2012, with an initial focus on matching unpaid usage, before moving to full distribution in 2014. Now the PPL team handles the whole distribution process, from matching LaIPA’s local usage data to providing the CMO with details of everyone that’s entitled to payment, whether it’s local members, PPL members or members of other CMOs.

As a result, performers and recording rightsholders are seeing the benefits, with improved pay-through rates and greater accuracy meaning increased payments for international artists, including PPL performers.

In Latvia, meanwhile, the CMO is able to concentrate on relationships with local members and licensees. And because they are supplying local repertoire information to PPL, local artists are seeing their UK and international revenue increase.

PPL is also working with other CMOs in the Baltic region and the aim is to offer business services to other markets, as PPL continues to push for better data standards across the industry to improve the whole marketplace.

“The industry needs to improve its metadata management, whether that be information from record companies or information from users,” noted Oxenbury. “Whilst at PPL we’re doing a good job in the UK around that, the same thing cannot be said for everywhere in the world. Poor data leads to inaccurate payments. We are constantly trying to improve our data.”