Chair’s statement

John F Smith OBE

Chair’s statement

Looking back on 2022, I am pleased to report another positive year of operations for PPL.

We generated record levels of revenue, developed new partnerships, broadened our reach as an organisation nationally and internationally, delivered many operational and technology improvements, and invested significantly in our people. Alongside all of this, we continued to contribute to a broader industry agenda of innovation, talent development and cultural change.

Our performance is in line with the positive trajectory of the global recorded music business, with revenues from neighbouring rights increasing by 9.4% year-on-year, according to the IFPI’s Global Music Report 2023. PPL plays a central role in driving growth for the industry in this field and we know from many of our members ― record labels and self-releasing artists, as well as session musicians and established performers ― that PPL’s royalties are critical to their businesses and livelihoods.

In this report…

In this report, you will read about the wealth of activities undertaken by Peter Leathem and the PPL team throughout 2022, which ultimately led to the payment of £238.7 million ― a 7.4% increase on 2021 ― to 165,039 performers and recording rightsholders. This marked the highest number of performers and recording rightsholders ever paid by PPL in a calendar year, 19,000 more than in 2021. In the quarterly December 2022 distribution alone, PPL paid money to more than 148,000 performers and recording rightsholders, the most we have ever paid in a single distribution. These new figures reflect the important technology and operational investments made by PPL and the neighbouring rights industry over the last decade, as well as our growing membership and reach through our relationships with other CMOs.

Our commitment to supporting the music community continued to extend into the wider industry to encompass the next generation of talented musicians and executives. With commercial success comes responsibility and, at PPL, we are dedicated to partnering with organisations to protect the health and wellbeing of those working in music. Last year, we donated to a number of good causes and charities including Music Minds Matter, launched in 2022 as a standalone mental health charity by Help Musicians, and BAPAM (the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine), of which Peter is Chair. The latter responded to nearly 3,000 performing arts patients alone in 2022, many of whom came from the music community, and it is seeing enquiries relating to health issues rise by 20% each year. The need has never been greater to support our community.

Pledging to fund and sharing our expertise

We also pledged funding and shared our expertise with several organisations that strive to develop local talent across all genres and geographies. The wonderful work of these charities, from PRS Foundation and Jazz re:freshed, to the Benedetti Foundation and the World Heart Beat Music Academy, ensures that the UK’s talent pipeline remains strong in order to preserve music’s role as a cultural and economic success story in these uncertain times.

We know that challenges remain, be it the economic and political landscapes, with rising inflation and the associated cost of living crisis; the ongoing issues arising from the UK’s exit from the European Union; and a general election set for 2024. And, of course, our thoughts remain with those who are affected by conflict around the world.

As PPL prepares for its 90th anniversary in 2024, we will continue to stand up for music rights and to drive the company and the music industry forward to be more diverse, more sustainable, and even more successful. I would like to congratulate Peter ― not least for his well-deserved OBE ― and thank him and his team for the outstanding efforts that have led to the positive results we can share with you today. And last but certainly not least, thank you, our members, for your continued engagement and support.


John F Smith OBE