PPL calculates royalties based on how much each member has earned after money has been collected from licensees in the UK. We then distribute the money to the relevant performers and recording rightsholders, taking into consideration the deduction of costs and any other adjustments. This process differs slightly for international collections. The calculations for these are carried out by collective management organisations that have agreements with PPL. The final calculated amount is then provided to PPL for distribution.
PPL receives reporting and information on recorded music played by radio and TV broadcasters, music suppliers and UK businesses. We invest in technology to help further increase the accuracy of our payments, and developments in Music Recognition Technology (MRT) through collaborations with PRS for Music and DJ Monitor began to feed data into the distribution process from licensed bars and clubs across the UK in June 2018. From the information gathered, we match the recorded music played against the PPL repertoire database, which contains information on more than 15 million commercially released recordings.
The allocation amount is then calculated for each recording depending on how often it has been played in public or broadcast. The amount paid is affected by a range of factors such as on which radio station or TV channel the recording has been played, the amount of airplay it has received and the size of the audience.
Where the money relates to the licensing of recorded music being played in public or broadcast (subject to the allocation of costs), one half of the money is allocated to the relevant recording rightsholder member and the other half is allocated to the performers who qualify to receive royalties on the recorded music.
Before a performer’s share is distributed, PPL checks that the performer qualifies to receive ‘equitable remuneration’ in respect of that recorded music track. If the performer does not qualify in respect of that track then the obligation to pay equitable remuneration does not apply and the provisional allocation in respect of that performances is paid to the relevant recording rightsholder(s).
If there is more than one performer listed on a recording, the performer royalties are distributed between them either in accordance with a performer share agreement or PPL’s Performer Allocation Policy.
Where the money relates to the licensing of an activity where performers do not have a right to receive royalties (such as the copying of the track) all the money is allocated to the relevant recording rightsholder.
Further detail on performer allocations can be found in our Distribution Rules, particularly rule 12 and schedule 5.
PPL currently makes one major distribution for UK royalties annually in June. International royalties and certain additional licensing activities are paid quarterly, and adjustment payments are made biannually in June and December.
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