distributions up 14.3% and breadth of international partnerships growing

The headline number also includes a payment of £7.7 million by VPL – PPL’s sister company, which licenses music videos when they are played in public or broadcast on TV – an increase of £1.6 million year-on-year.

PPL, which licenses the use of recorded music in the UK and collects neighbouring rights royalties on behalf of performers and recording rightsholders internationally, cited the continued recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic – as more businesses re-opened in the UK and globally – as a key factor in achieving the unparalleled payments total. The company’s broad and growing network of international agreements with other collective management organisations (CMOs), which helps royalty money to flow quickly around the world, was also a strong contributor.

PPL has over 110 CMO partnership agreements in place and is the leading collector of neighbouring rights income globally. PPL recently signed new agreements with ISAMRA (India) and RAYS (Azerbaijan) to collect royalties for its members in those territories and distributed its first payments from CMOs in Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

The company continues to win international mandates for collecting neighbouring rights on behalf of a wide range of performers, such as Trevor Horn, Libianca and Central Cee, and independent recording rightsholders such as dance label, Defected Records. The number of independent rightsholders paid by PPL has increased by 20% since 2019, with the distribution payment amount jumping 19% year on year in 2023.

Wez Saunders, CEO, Defected Records, said: “2023 has been an exceptional year for PPL and underscores the genuine value it brings to businesses and artists alike. While the sheer magnitude of these figures is undoubtedly impressive, PPL’s impact goes beyond numbers; it directly supports artists, helping them sustain their careers and creative endeavours doing what they do best, and ensures labels thrive thanks to their commitment to fair compensation.”

Peter Leathem OBE, CEO of PPL, said: “2023 was a record year for PPL and all our members, with a total of £279.6 million paid out. We understand these payments are critical for many and we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver them consistently and on time. As neighbouring rights continue to develop around the world, we see a huge opportunity ahead to grow our market share and maximise revenues for performers and recording rightsholders.”