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11% increase in UK public performance revenues drives record PPL results as more businesses invest in the value of music


PPL, the organisation that licenses the use of recorded music for public performance and broadcast in the UK and collects similar royalties on behalf of performers and recording rightsholders around the world, generated £283.5 million of revenue in 2023 (growth of 4% or £10.9m on 2022), the highest level of income in its 90-year history.  

Net revenue after operating cost and other deductions – i.e. what is available to be passed on to PPL members and other Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) through a network of international agreements – grew by 5%, with the cost as a percentage of revenue reducing from 13.3% to 13% on the previous year. 

Public performance revenue jumps by 11%
Income from the use of recorded music in public places (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices, factories etc.) increased by 11% to over £111 million in 2023 (2022: £100.8 million). 

This revenue is collected by Leicester-based PPL PRS Ltd a joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music, which launched in 2018. These revenues have now surpassed the pre-pandemic high and continue to demonstrate the value to businesses of investing in music as a driver of customer and employee engagement. PPL also launched its new tariff for Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE) in 2023, negotiated in partnership with industry bodies. The licence, for the use of recorded music in DJ sets and discos in pubs, bars, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, and cafes, has driven a positive impact for performers and recording rightsholders.

Donna Gutteridge, Culture & Service Lead, Oliver Bonas, said: “It’s really important to Oliver Bonas that we have the right licences in place because the licence fee goes back to the music creators so they can then produce great music that our stores can listen to.” 

Continued growth in broadcast revenues with new deals signed  
PPL’s revenues from the licensing of recorded music for radio, TV and online increased to £96.4 million in 2023 (2022: £94 million).  

Growth in TV revenues was driven by the negotiation of several new licences, including with Discovery and S4C for their TV services, and a new long-term deal with the BBC for its public service activities across radio, TV, BBC Sounds and iPlayer. 

The licence fee PPL collects for commercial radio is based upon a percentage of radio station revenue, which was adversely impacted by a downturn in the advertising market in 2023. However, this sector showed signs of positive recovery towards the end of the year.

Expansion into new markets is a key focus for international revenue growth   
International revenue, collected by PPL for the use of members’ music around the world, reached £75.4 million in 2023 (2022: £77.8 million).

PPL saw annual growth in collections from the majority of CMOs in 2023. Payments were received for the first time from CMOs in Guatemala and Indonesia, and the company signed deals to open up new markets, including with the Indian Singers’ and Musicians’ Rights Association (ISAMRA) and RAYS in Azerbaijan. The number of performers choosing PPL for their international collections continued to rise amid a competitive marketplace, including artists such as Lewis Capaldi, Central Cee and Libianca.

This positive growth was offset by the impact of declining revenues from monies for past periods already successfully collected by PPL, combined with the residual effect of several years of disrupted collections due to the repercussions of Covid-19 on many businesses. This led to a slight year-on-year comparative reduction in total income.

PPL continues to focus on the long-term competitiveness of the business and the potential for growth as the overall neighbouring rights market expands. The organisation now has over 110 agreements with fellow CMOs in more than 50 countries covering over 95% of the neighbouring rights market by value. Overall, the company is seeing international revenue settle into a more standardised pattern following some exceptional years of past monies pay-through and is forecasting steadier growth going forward.

Peter Leathem OBE, CEO of PPL, said: “While much has changed in the 90 years since PPL was formed, the power of music to drive commercial value for businesses in the UK and beyond remains ever constant. Research repeatedly shows that music increases both consumer dwell time and propensity to buy, and also drives greater productivity and attention to detail in the workplace. More and more businesses are investing in the power of music and its benefits.

In these somewhat precarious times for performers, we are proud to deliver a consistent stream of income for them and recording rights holders - over £1 billion distributed in the past five years alone. As the world leader in international collections, we will continue to advocate for neighbouring rights in new markets to maximise revenue opportunities for all our members.”  

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