PPL hits new high with financial results, pays out to record number of performers & labels

Peter Leathem

Music licensing company PPL has posted another set of record results, collecting £246.8 million for performers and record labels in 2018.

As exclusively revealed in this week’s print edition of Music Week, that was up 13% and £28m on 2017. The number of payees also soared, PPL distributed money to 94,750 performers and 10,442 recording rights-holders for a total of 105,192, the first time the society has broken the 100,000 barrier.

All three of PPL’s revenue streams grew: broadcast and online revenue was up 5% year-on-year to £83.6m; public performance and dubbing by 3% to £92.3m; and international collections by a huge 43% to £70.9m.

Key factors in the growth included increased revenue from commercial radio stations growing their advertising revenue, new TV licensing deals, more international agreements and a large, one-off catch-up payment from Germany.

These are also the first figures since PPL launched its public performance licensing joint venture with PRS For Music, PPL PRS. PRS’ public performance revenue was actually down 3.1% in 2018.

PRS has also faced criticism for its raised admin rates, but PPL CEO Peter Leathem told Music Week PPL’s cost rate fell from 16.5% to 13.9%.

“2018 was another positive year for collections at PPL, with us seeing growth in each of our revenue streams and a 13% growth overall to £246.8 million,” said Leathem. “At the same time we have continued to grow the number of performers and recording rights-holders that benefit from our collections, with us surpassing 100,000 individuals or companies being paid during 2018. In 2019, we will continue to invest in our people, our technology and our data, and with further innovation will aim to deliver another year of high quality service to our members.” 

* For the full, exclusive story on the figures, plus the only interview with Leathem, see this week’s print edition of Music Week, available now. To subscribe to Music Week and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

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