CMO Gramex Denmark visits PPL to discuss neighbouring rights best practice
On Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 August, PPL hosted neighbouring rights collective management organisation (CMO) Gramex Denmark, the country’s neighbouring rights collection society. Our relationship with Gramex Denmark is one of the 105 agreements we have with overseas CMOs which underpin our world-leading international collections and helped us to collect a record amount of £94.0 million from outside the UK in 2021. We regularly meet with CMOs around the world, bolstering close working relationships and helping us maximise neighbouring rights revenue for performers and recording rightsholders who mandate us internationally.
Through a series of meetings and discussions with the senior team from Gramex Denmark we shared operational best practice with the aim to improve UK and international royalty collections and distributions.
Delivering more efficient licensing and distribution
PPL is one of the largest CMOs in the world, with a staff of more than 200 experts in their field. This depth of sector knowledge, especially in our licensing, legal and distribution teams, makes us a leader in the development of recorded music licensing and a core player in the growth of neighbouring rights royalties around the world.
The effective licensing of public performance venues and TV, radio and online broadcasters is crucial to maximising royalty revenues for performers and recording rightsholders. We spoke with Gramex Denmark about the rapidly changing broadcast sector and how we can ensure new services are appropriately licensed and delivering revenue for both our memberships.
We have worked hard in recent years to ensure we are appropriately licensing new services and platforms. In 2021 we signed a multi-territory linear livestreaming deal with Mixcloud for its audiovisual service, Mixcloud Live, covering livestreams of recorded music in the UK and six other European territories. Additionally, a further pan-territorial deal was signed for the Sonos Radio service, a 34-channel linear webcast service delivered to Sonos speakers and hardware. Such services are increasingly popular among music listeners so it is important that performers and recording rightsholders are being paid for when their tracks are played on them.
Comprehensive policies regarding the distribution of royalties and the management of recording metadata are also vital to the efficient and accurate payment of royalties to members. We described PPL’s policies in a number of sessions designed to identify best practice in this area and to promote any improvement each organisation could make. For example, our Repertoire Data Policy sets out the track metadata we need in order to distribute royalties earned by any track. Such metadata includes the recording title, the group/artist name, the country of recording, the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) and more. Without this metadata, our royalty distributions may not be as accurate or efficient as possible. You can find out more about our distribution and recording metadata policies here.
Using technology to maximise royalties
A number of the sessions focused on how PPL uses technology to make recorded music metadata more comprehensive and accurate, and so maximising the efficient distribution of royalties to performers and recording rightsholders.
We have 20 million+ recordings in our repertoire database and we receive 45,000+ new recording details each week. In addition to our Repertoire Data Policy, which ensures this metadata is of a certain quality, we have developed a number of internal tools and processes which identify inaccuracies or conflicts in recording metadata and allow our team to correct such data. One such tool uses artificial intelligence to find performer line-ups that look incorrect and flag the metadata for review.
We also work with the wider industry to improve the quality of recording metadata around the world. We built and now run the IFPI and WIN-owned RDx data exchange, providing a portal through which recording rightsholders can share authoritative recording rights metadata with CMOs and for that data to be checked for conflicts. We are also a contributor to the Virtual Recording Database (VRDB), run by SCAPR, the body which represents performer CMOs. This database brings together the performer line-up metadata for millions of recordings, giving CMOs around the world access to an authoritative data source of performer contributions while also providing a method of identifying inaccurate or incomplete performer line-up data. We are also a board member of DDEX, the global consortium that establishes the standard formats for the sharing of digital music data.
Working with Gramex Denmark, and other CMOs, to establish and roll-out best recording metadata practice through such initiatives supports the efficient distribution of royalties.
Laurence Oxenbury, Director of International, commented on the visit:
“We were delighted to welcome Gramex Denmark to PPL. They share our passion for maximising the neighbouring rights revenue of performers and recording rightsholders around the world, and both organisations benefited from the sharing of knowledge and expertise that these visits promote. We will continue working closely with them in the future, as with all neighbouring rights CMOs around the world.”