meet the team: chloe rowlatt, head of international

What made you want to be part of PPL – and what were you doing before this job?

Prior to PPL I worked in membership in the childcare sector. My degree is in Chemistry, so I started out in a very different space! But I love analysis and problem solving, and have always had an interest in the music business – so when a job came up in the membership team at PPL nine years ago, I applied, and I’ve been with the organisation ever since.

I wanted to find a role where I was really interested in the subject matter, and where I could bring together my interest in data and my love of working with people. PPL felt – and still feels – like the perfect fit. The culture here is incredibly supportive, the work is rewarding, and the opportunity to discover new music is a big added bonus.

What does your role involve?

I moved into my current team six years ago and now I’m Head of International, with a team of 16 people. Together we’re focused on building strong relationships with PPL’s network. We have over 110 agreements in place across collective management organisations (CMOs) in more than 50 countries. The aim is to ensure that wherever in the world our members’ work is played, they get the money they’re entitled to.

We partner with CMOs across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North and Latin America to identify opportunities for rightsholders and performers. Our work covers the whole range of our members, from global performers and major labels through to self-releasing artists, session musicians and independent labels.

I also work with organisations such as SCAPR (The Societies’ Council for the Collective Management of Performers), a global trade body that brings together CMOs that represent performers. Together with contacts from other CMOs, we share best practice to deliver for performers. Every country around the world has a different way of operating, and exchanging and managing data, so there’s always plenty to discuss. Technology is changing the way CMOs work together as well, with collaborations on things like the Virtual Recordings Database (VRDB), which helps CMOs transfer recording and performer data better between each other, and SoundSys, a new cloud-based system being used in South East Asia to make the process of paying performers more efficient.

Tell us about a typical day?

There isn’t a typical day! One of the things I enjoy about my job is that there’s so much variety.

Every week I spend time with my team to find creative solutions to drive more revenue from a country, or to better understand its local distribution rules. We’re constantly exploring how we can expand PPL’s reach through agreements with new countries.

I work with lots of different teams within PPL too – particularly Member Services and Repertoire, Legal and Business Affairs, Distribution, and Finance to name a few. I always wanted a job with travel, and in this role there’s a lot of opportunity for that. My first trip for 2024 was to Madrid, and in 2023 I attended industry events and visited CMOs in Berlin, Porto, Paris and Belgrade.

What are your top priorities right now?

This year there are some exciting markets that we want to reach, focusing on Latin America and South East Asia. Around 50% of the revenue we currently collect for sound recording performance rights comes from Europe, followed by North America, but we have agreements that cover around 95% of the global market value and we are increasingly seeing revenue flowing from newer and emerging markets.

The rights that PPL can collect for vary from market to market. It might surprise you to learn that we can’t collect for public performance (music played in public places like bars, and clubs) or broadcast (music played on radio or TV) in the US. In Japan, while there are no rights available for public performance, we can help members get payment for broadcast. I learn something new every day in this space – and it’s constantly evolving.

What are some of the biggest challenges in your role?

It’s challenging to learn about and understand each market and the different rights and rules, as each country has its own unique eco-system surrounding collections, but it’s exciting too. Issues in data quality and inconsistency in the approach to metadata management can all be tricky, but my team is a group of problem solvers. If money’s stuck, we use creative thinking to work out how to release it.

I think the different backgrounds and interests within our team and across the wider business really help with that. People across PPL have such a wide range of skills. Between us we’ll always find an answer.

How have you seen PPL make a positive impact for the performers and recording rightsholders you work with?

I get a real kick out of looking at our reports and seeing how many people get paid each time. It’s often tens of thousands of individuals.

It’s also exciting when the first payment comes in from a new country that we’ve signed an agreement with. We recently signed new agreements in Azerbaijan and India, extended an agreement in Italy, and we’re working on new opportunities in Asia and Latin America which I know will be great for our members.

It might start out as a small amount divided between thousands of people – but it represents the start of something that we can scale up. We’re working with organisations like SCAPR and other CMOs to develop the market as a whole and that can only be good news for performers.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?

Seeing people get paid, and knowing that we managed to reach different parts of the world to help our members get the money they’re entitled to.

I also love working with my team. We’ve got an amazing group of people at PPL and seeing the results they deliver for our members and how they’re motivated by it never gets old.

Which artists are making a big impact in different countries?

It’s fascinating to see artists suddenly have a hit with airplay in different markets around the world. At the moment Strangers by Kenya Grace is everywhere!

In the US in the past six months, we have seen spikes in airplay for artists like Central Cee, Tems and PinkPantheress. They’ve also been loving Calm Down by Rema over there.

Artists who sing in local languages are also growing in popularity around the world – it’s not just about English-speaking British and American performers. A pop track Jeg Ka’ Rigtig Godt Li’ Dig (I really like you) by Ida Laurberg and Andreas Odbjerg is huge in Denmark and in Spain we’re seeing high airplay for Latin artists. Baby Hello by Puerto Rican singer Rauw Alejandro and Argentinian producer Bizarrap, which is entirely in Spanish, is doing very well.

What’s a track that always makes you smile?

It has to be LK by DJ Marky & XRS featuring Stamina. It’s a drum & bass classic and I can’t believe it was released 20 years ago. It’s on every playlist I make, and it’s guaranteed to get me on the dance floor. Original Nuttah by ShyFX is another one and my guilty pleasure is Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.

And finally, what new track should everyone have on their playlist?

In the past year I have been listening to Nia Archives. She just released a great track called Crowded Roomz which has a jungle drum beat and is very personal about loneliness and anxiety. Little Simz has also just released a new EP, Drop 7, which is more experimental, and I can’t stop listening to it!