music licensing company ppl delivers record revenues and payments to performers in 2022

15 May 2023, London – The UK music licensing company PPL announced today that it generated revenues of £272.6 million in 2022, representing a year-on-year increase of 7.8% (£19.8 million) and marking the highest level of revenue in the company’s 89-year history. The news comes as PPL hosts more than 100 international music executives in London this week for the annual General Meeting of the global trade body for organisations managing perfomers’ rights, SCAPR.

Headquartered in London, PPL licenses the use of recorded music when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices, etc.) or broadcast on radio and TV, both in the UK and internationally. The company plays a critical role in ensuring that performers or anyone who owns the copyright in a recording are paid when their tracks are enjoyed around the world. Its 140,000 members include independent and major record companies as well as session musicians, up and coming bands and globally renowned artists across multiple genres and geographies, including Ellie Goulding, Gregory Porter, Becky Hill, Emeli Sandé and Ella Henderson.

PPL Chief Executive Officer, Peter Leathem OBE, said, “The eyes of the world were upon the UK this weekend as we hosted Eurovision, one of the biggest celebrations of music there is. At PPL, we are proud to stand up for the music rights of our members, both in the UK and internationally, ensuring they receive payment for the use of their recorded music, which plays an important role in our everyday lives as we hear it on radio, TV and in public places.

“Today’s record financial results see PPL’s revenues reach their highest level in our 89-year history. These results are a testament to the quality of the team, the technology and our data at PPL; but that is nothing without the creativity and hard work of our members, who create the millions of high quality recordings being enjoyed by fans everyday.   In 2022 I am delighted that we paid over 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders – more than ever before – providing a stable and valuable source of income in a recovering and fast-moving industry.  Thank you to all those who worked with us at PPL last year to deliver a record year and, more importantly, to keep getting music people paid.”


Ellie Goulding, international artist, said, “To make music for a living is an honour and privilege. Knowing that your investment in the creative process will be fairly rewarded when your songs are enjoyed around the world is so important in ensuring you can continue and grow as an artist. Thanks to all at PPL who make that happen.”


Public performance revenues bounce back

Revenues from the use of recorded music in public places increased significantly in 2022, growing by 39.8% from £72.1 million to £100.8 million. This also represented an increase on the company’s pre-pandemic public performance revenues of £99.6 million, garnered before Covid-19 forced the closure of many businesses and organisations which use music to engage their employees and customers. The collection of these revenues is conducted by Leicester-based PPL PRS Ltd, a joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music, and their significant recovery is a testament to the intrinsic importance of music to shops, bars, restaurants and other businesses around the country. Research[1] conducted by Attest in January 2023 on behalf of PPL PRS Ltd shows that 85% of people agree that playing background music in a business makes customers feel more comfortable and relaxed, whilst 84% agree that playing background music creates a better customer experience.

Broadcast revenues boosted by radio, TV and innovative new deals

PPL’s revenues from the licensing of recorded music for radio, TV and online use increased by 8.4% year-on-year to reach £94.0 million. New multi-year deals with expanded rights granted were agreed with major TV broadcasters including the BBC (for both its public service and commercial activities), ITV and Channel 4, enabling them to broaden their offerings to users on services such as BBC Sounds, BBC iPlayer and ITVX. PPL continued to develop its international webcast licensing, including a new multi-territory licence for Polaroid Radio.

PPL remains the leading company for collecting royalties overseas

PPL’s international revenues in 2022 reached £77.8 million, declining by £16.2 million on 2021. Revenue from past periods (i.e. monies related to airplay more than two years old) continued to make up a significant proportion of the international income collected. However, year-on-year, the proportion of revenue collected for past periods declined, due to the work undertaken by Collective Management Organisations in speeding up their distribution paythrough. Remaining COVID-19 restrictions also continued to impact revenue worldwide. The company has 109 agreements in place with its counterparts in 49 territories globally to aid the collection of these monies – more agreements than any other neighbouring rights business.

PPL continues to work in collaboration with peers around the world to encourage the adoption of centralised industry tools to improve data quality and exchange, helping to generate greater returns for members. In recent years, PPL has been at the helm of the development of a range of global data management projects which aim to ensure royalties flow effectively across the global industry.

A record number of performers and recording rightsowners receive PPL royalties

The growth in revenues and international agreements facilitated the payment of royalties to a record number of musicians and recording rightsholders, with more than 165,000 of them receiving payment for the use of their music in the UK and around the world. This new high represented an increase of 12.6%, up from 146,000 in 2021, and has been significantly supported by PPL’s investment in cutting edge technology in a data-driven industry. The company is a pioneer in the management of metadata, driving forward greater knowledge and understanding across the industry of who performs on or owns the rights to a specific recording. PPL’s industry-leading Repertoire Database now holds the details of approximately 24 million recordings, with over 45,000 being added on average every week.

The results achieved in 2022 are in large part a reflection of the success of PPL’s collaborative approach to data management. PPL developed and operates RDx, the data exchange hub for communicating authoritative data about recordings and their ownership from record companies to collective management organisations. PPL also took a lead in integrating with data management tools such as Session, of which ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus is a co-founder, to improve the flow of contributor data out of the recording studio. As a charter member of DDEX, the international standards organisation for data exchange in the music industry, PPL actively contributes to the development and adoption of data standards used across the global industry. At the end of 2022, PPL penned a deal with Gracenote, a leader in music recognition technology which helps to refine and provide greater accuracy to the performer line-up in PPL’s data set. This wide ranging approach to data management helps to ensure the right people get paid for the use of their recorded music.




For media enquiries, contact:

Suzi Ibbotson – Director of Communications, PPL

E: M: 07796 709227


Lynne Best – Managing Partner, Fourth Pillar

E: M: 07763 619709


Claire Turvey – Managing Partner, Fourth Pillar

E: M: 07850 548198


Notes to Editors


About PPL

Founded in 1934, PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organisation (CMO) for performers and recording rightsholders. We license recorded music in the UK when it is played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices etc.) or broadcast (BBC, commercial radio, commercial TV etc.) and ensure that revenue flows back to our members. These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and globally renowned artists. PPL’s public performance licensing is carried out on PPL’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.


We also collect performance rights internationally when music is played overseas in public and used on TV, radio and some online streaming services, as well as for private copying. International royalties are an increasingly important revenue stream for performers and recording rightsholders. In 2022, in total, we collected £272.6 million across all of our revenue streams, while also distributing money to more than 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders.




SCAPR, the Societies’ Council for the Collective Management of Performers’ Rights is a not-for-profit organisation based in Brussels, Belgium. Operating as an international platform for the development of the practical cooperation between performers’ Collective Management Organisations (CMOs), SCAPR strives to improve the exchange of data and performers’ rights payments across borders.


Founded in 1986, today it represents 56 CMOs from 41 countries. SCAPR’s primary aim is to improve the efficiency of the management of rights and the conclusion of bilateral agreements.