Following last month’s signings of Libianca, Lewis Thompson, and Isata Kanneh-Mason to PPL’s roster, rapper Central Cee has chosen PPL for the collection of neighboring rights royalties.
In 2022, Central Cee — or ‘Cench’ as his fans call him — became the first British rapper to gain a billion annual Spotify streams. In 2023, that number hit 2.4 billion streams, reflected in his neighboring rights royalties from PPL. The company will continue to collect royalties on his behalf through its network of over 100 agreements with collective management organizations (CMOs) worldwide, according to details shared by the organization with DMN.
The stats on this bloke are impressive indeed. With 35.2 million listeners on Spotify, Cench’s latest collaboration with Dave for ‘Sprinter’ became the longest-running number-one rap song in the UK. The duo racked up over nine million streams in a single week, beating out J Hus and Drake’s ‘Who Told You’ and Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding’s ‘Miracle.’
PPL is the UK music industry’s collective management organization for performers and recording rights holders. Licensing recorded music for performance in public venues and broadcast on media outlets, PPL’s roster includes a mix of rising musicians, independent artists, and established musicians.
With the tie-up, Central Cee will benefit from PPL’s neighboring rights expertise, extensive global reach, and its 200+ song team. The company’s growing international network of agreements with CMOs around the world will help maximize Cench’s returns. The joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music (PPL PRS Ltd.) carries out PPL’s public performance licensing.
International royalties are an essential revenue stream for performers and recording rights holders. In 2022, PPL collected £272.6 million ($342 million) across all revenue streams — highest recorded in the company’s 89-year history. According to PPL, these collections were distributed it to the 165,000+ performers and recording rights holders signed to the CMO.
In a statement announcing Central Cee’s selection of PPL for collection of neighboring rights royalties that was emailed to DMN today, the rapper’s manager, Bello, praised Cench’s success in Europe — and his rising acclaim in the US. “During this time, PPL has provided a crucial and reliable service for us, something that is especially important for Cench as an independent artist. We have faith in PPL’s abilities to collect royalties where his music is played worldwide, and that’s why we’ve re-signed with them. The team works hard for us; they know this part of the industry inside out. They care about artists and are great to deal with. This allows me to do my job and focus on developing Central Cee to be the biggest rapper in the world,” said Bello.
PPL’s Director of Music Industry Engagement, Natalie Wade, highlighted that the signing has occurred just in time for the Artist and Managers Awards (taking place tonight) where PPL recognized Bello as ‘Manager of the Year’ for his contribution to Central Cee’s success. “We are excited to continue our work on behalf of Central Cee, making sure his neighboring rights reflect his global success and that he receives the royalties he is due for the use of his recorded music around the world.”
In June, Cench had signed with Columbia Records as part of a joint venture with Sony Music UK.
The deal was led by Columbia Executive Vice President Bu Thiam with Central Cee’s manager, Bello. Terms of the deal were not announced publicly, but the joint venture nature suggested the rapper would retain ownership of his recordings.