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By Billboard

International collections at U.K. music licensing company PPL climbed to £70.9 million ($93.4 million) in 2018 -- the organization's largest ever total for overseas revenues.

PPL attributed the 43 percent growth down to the strength of its members' repertoire, sustained investment in technology and data capabilities and open and direct collaboration with other international collective management organizations (CMOs).

The London-based not-for-profit company, which represents over 100,000 performers and recording rights holders, fully launched its neighbouring rights arm in 2006 -- when it collected just £6 million ($7.9 million) -- and now has 92 agreements in place with overseas CMOs.

Since 2006, PPL has collected just under £430 million ($566 million) in overseas revenues for its members' music played in public (shops, bars, nightclubs, offices) or broadcast on TV or radio. The market-leading organization says it now receives almost half (43 percent) of all performer neighbouring rights payments moving between CMOs globally.

In 2009, it became the first music licensing company to be given qualified intermediary status by the U.S. tax authority, meaning that it can pay members up to 30 percent of U.S generated monies that would otherwise be withheld by American CMOs, who don't have the same tax status.

In the past 12 months, PPL signed new international collection agreements with the societies AGATA (Lithuania), UPFR (Romania), Audiogest (Portugal), Brumusic (Brunei), GCA (Georgia) and AKDIE (Albania).

2018 also saw first time payments from performer CMOs IPF (Slovenia) and SAMPRA (South Africa) and recording rightsholder society, Slovgram (Slovakia), while some of its biggest neighbouring rights collections came from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Canada and Germany.

"We are extremely proud that our collections play a vital role in helping recording rights holders be in a position to continue investing in new music, and for playing our part in performers, including session musicians, having a real, tangible career in the music industry," commented PPL's international director Laurence Oxenbury.

"PPL has a responsibility to all of the performers and recording rights holders that we represent to ensure that creative work is paid accurately and fairly," added CEO Peter Leathem, who credited the "specialist knowledge, experience, drive and determination of the team at PPL" with driving the record collections.
"As we edge closer to collecting half a billion pounds internationally since 2006," he said, "we want to acknowledge the sheer quality of musical output from the U.K., and the industry's level of consistency in developing talent that is in demand all over the world."


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