PPL and PRS for Music Joint Venture Hits $1.2 Billion After Just Five Years

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Photo Credit: Christin Hume

After just five years, the PPL and PRS for Music joint venture, PPL PRS Ltd, has hit $1.2 billion in cumulative payouts.

The public performance licensing joint venture from PPL and PRS for Music, PPL PRS Ltd, celebrates its fifth anniversary with a report of £1 billion ($1.2 billion) in public performance revenues distributed since its launch in 2018. 

The Leicester, UK-based joint venture considers itself the first of its kind in the world. Since opening its doors, hundreds of thousands of music users have transitioned from the two parent companies to the new joint license, negating the need for customers — shops, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, live events — to purchase separate PPL and PRS for Music licenses. 

Customers have benefitted from a streamlined service and a single point of contact, bringing the respective rights and repertoire together in one place, making it easier to use, and creating a better experience.

“The launch of PPL PRS Ltd in 2018 was a landmark moment for the music industry, after 84 years of PPL and PRS for Music independently licensing the public use of music across the UK,” says PPL Chief Executive Peter Leathem OBE. “Five years on, both music users and music creators are now reaping the benefits. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the joint venture has facilitated the distribution of more than £1 billion in royalties to performers, songwriters, publishers, and recording rightsholders.”

“I would like to thank all of those who have been part of this journey over these past five years, and I look forward to continuing to work together to grow this critical revenue stream,” Leathem continues. “As other organizations around the world seek to follow in our footsteps, we will continue to share our expertise and knowledge to further strengthen the global neighboring rights sector and ensure music is fairly rewarded.”

“The groundbreaking partnership with PPL, which led to the launch of the TheMusicLicense in 2018, is a testament to the shared goal of creating a better experience for our customers,” says Andrea Czapary Martin, Chief Executive Officer at PRS for Music.

“This vision for greater collaboration and innovation has provided over £1 billion in royalties to music creators since its launch, ensuring songwriters, composers, musicians, and performers are paid when their works are played. It also guaranteed unified support for customers during the pandemic and in their recovery over the last year. I look forward to working with Peter Leathem and Andrea Gray to continue to build on the success of the business.”

“Having joined the business late in 2019, I was faced with the unprecedented events of 2020 and 2021 caused by COVID — and the business adapted quickly to support both our customers and the music creators and rightsholders our parent organizations represent,” adds PPL PRS Ltd Managing Director Andrea Gray. 

“We made the decision to commit to not charging any business which had to close due to the pandemic or could not play music due to restrictions. This, of course, had an effect on the amount of money we could return to the members of PPL and PRS for Music as royalties, but I am delighted that we have now seen a return to business as usual,” Gray concludes. “PPL PRS is continuing to grow and work with more businesses to bring the benefit of playing music to their customers and employees, and I look forward to building on the successes of 2022 and ensuring that 2023 sees another record year for all the hard-working music creators and rightsholders that PPL PRS help to support.”

Initially announced in February 2016, competition clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority was given to the joint venture later that year. PPL and PRS for Music signed a shareholders’ agreement laying out how the joint venture company would be owned and operated. Both parent companies equally own and manage the joint venture, and its Board comprises PPL PRS senior management team members and representatives from both individual companies.