Delivering more for members

Another record year for payments

In 2022, we paid 165,039 performers and recording rightsholders.

This represents the highest annual total to date, a 12.6% increase on last year’s record of 146,500. These figures are driven by our growing membership, as well as the significant technology and operational investments we have made in recent years.

Helping more members than ever

In 2022, 5,259 new performer members and 5,250 new recording rightsholders joined PPL ― 9% higher than the number of new registrations in 2021. We continued to assist these members, both new and old; 28% more claims were processed in 2022 where performers wanted to be added to a recording line-up, reaching over a million performer claims processed in the year.

Tens of thousands entrust PPL to collect their international revenue

£75.8 million was paid out in international neighbouring rights royalties to members for the use of their music overseas in 2022. Tens of thousands of performers and recording rightsholders continue to trust PPL to collect their royalties from CMOs around the world, which is reflected in the +99% of key international mandates retained in 2022. We also signed many new mandates, including Andy Taylor, Bebe Rexha, Digga D, Gotcha and Yungblud.

Administering royalties for deceased performers

One of the many important functions of PPL is tracing the beneficiaries of deceased performers and those who manage or represent their estates and then dealing with the necessary paperwork to ensure the royalties from the use of their music flow to the correct individuals. In 2022, £1.6 million was released to performer beneficiaries, an increase of 31% on 2021.

Events drive PPL’s UK and international outreach

After 2021 brought the gradual return of in-person events, they continued to roar back in 2022. We sponsored, organised or participated in 176 events over the course of the year. Reflecting our continued wish to reach the whole of the UK, these took place across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. With barriers being lowered for overseas travel, we attended events in Amsterdam, Austin, Hamburg, Hanover, Nashville and New York.

We also continued to collaborate with partners across the industry, including AIM, Equity, BPI, British Copyright Council, Featured Artists Coalition, The Ivors Academy, Music Managers Forum, Music Producers Guild, Music Publishers Association, Musicians’ Union, PRS, PRSF and UK Music.

PPL in the press

Media coverage was extensive throughout the year, with key announcements contributing to over 1,000 mentions across multiple publications. Importantly, our international media profile is growing in strength, through coverage in publications such as Billboard, Music Business Worldwide (MBW) and Variety, supporting our reputation and growth of International and Business Services. Mark Douglas, PPL’s Chief Information Officer, began writing a quarterly feature for Music Business Worldwide on technology trends in music, highlighting our expertise on this subject to a global audience.

Data capture and song credits feature on BBC Click

One particular media highlight was the BBC Click broadcast of a segment on the work of Session and PPL to support the capture of recorded music credits in the studio. The segment featured Niclas Molinder and Björn Ulvaeus, founders of Session, alongside artist Fiona Bevan showcasing the Session app. BBC Click is the broadcaster’s flagship technology programme, elevating the importance of recording metadata to a global audience. The segment ran a total of 24 times across BBC Two, the BBC News channel and BBC World.

Developing new talent with the PRS Foundation

Since 2016, PPL has been a close partner of the PRS Foundation, the UK’s leading charitable funder of new music and talent development. In 2022, the PPL Momentum Music Fund, of which PPL is the headline funder, supported 36 music creators, including Hamish Hawk (Scotland), SIPHO. (Midlands), Panic Shack (Wales), Pit Pony (Newcastle), King Hannah (Liverpool) and Kelli-Leigh (London), with grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 to reach the next level of their career.

We continued to support the PPL Momentum Accelerator and International Showcase Funds as well as the Foundation’s UK-wide network of 49 Talent Development Partners, all with the aim of fuelling the UK’s talent pipeline.

Representing members’ rights

PPL continues to champion the rights, and voice the concerns, of performers and recording rightsholders. Where appropriate, we engage with government ― both directly and through our active involvement in the work of UK Music and the British Copyright Council ― on relevant political, legal and regulatory issues.

International trade

PPL has been seeking to ensure that the interests of our members are being put forward in the international trade deals the UK continues to negotiate following Brexit. In both our direct engagement with government, and as part of contributing to the wider industry responses to the Government’s various calls for views, we highlighted the value to the UK of seeking to ensure that sound recordings and performances are properly protected by robust copyright laws in other countries. PPL has also continued to support the broader industry call for action to address the adverse impacts of Brexit on touring, such as the challenges of securing work permits and transporting instruments.

Government’s work on music streaming

Following the government’s 2021 response to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry into the economics of music streaming, various formal working groups were convened as part of the government’s ongoing programme of work to address the key issues identified by the inquiry. PPL actively contributed to these working groups during 2022. Mark Douglas, our Chief Information Officer, was an active participant in the metadata working group, which met with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) regularly throughout 2022 to examine issues relating to how streaming metadata is generated and used across the music industry. The government also formed an Industry Contact Group to keep the music industry updated on its work in this area, which Peter Leathem regularly attended.

Artificial intelligence

PPL continued to contribute to the wider industry lobbying activities led by UK Music on the topic of artificial intelligence. During 2022, this work focused on supporting the industry’s opposition to the government’s proposal for a new copyright exception for text and data mining (with government subsequently withdrawing this proposal more recently in 2023).