PPL Says International Collections Hit a Record $111 Million In 2019

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UK recorded music licensing company PPL has revealed that its 2019 international royalty collections crossed $111 million (£86.7 million), a 22 percent uptick from 2018’s figure, and an all-time high for the organization.

In securing international royalties, PPL strikes deals with collective management organizations (CMOs) and facilitates artist and performer payments. The PPL says that a large and growing stable of artists (whose body of work includes over 15 million recordings) has enabled PPL to form agreements with CMOs in a substantial number of nations.

For instance, PPL’s press release indicated that new deals were stuck with CMOs in Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Slovenia, and Ukraine, in 2019, and that initial royalty payments were received from organizations in Albania, Georgia, Paraguay, and South Korea, among others. With more countries’ rights organizations paying royalties—and more artists joining PPL—it’s expected the coming years’ international collections will continue to grow.

That sounds like good news for British IP owners and artists, though it’s unclear how post-Brexit chaos will impact future PPL collections.

That imbroglio notwithstanding, PPL International Director Laurence Oxenbury noted that the organization’s global earnings have increased by approximately 75 percent throughout the last two years. CEO Peter Leathem attributed the results to tech improvements and the “over 95,000 internationally mandated performers and recording rightsholders” within the PPL ranks.

Other companies are taking steps to help artists secure international royalties. Earlier this week, WARM, a Copenhagen-based radio-tracking service, received over $1 million in seed funding, including a substantial investment from Sony. WARM uses digital-fingerprinting technology to identify songs, thereby enabling artists to see when and where their works are being played. Presently, WARM covers approximately 28,000 radio stations in 100 or so countries.

PPL was founded in 1934 by EMI and Decca Records. The entity does not turn a profit per se; after administrative expenditures are accounted for, all earnings are distributed to artists. In addition to collecting international payments, PPL licenses music domestically to UK television networks, radio stations, public businesses, and more.