PPL has announced it paid out £279.6 million to 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders in 2023 – an increase of £34.9 million (14.3%) on the previous year and the highest annual total ever paid out in the collection society’s 90-year history.

The figure also includes a payment of £7.7 million by VPL – PPL’s sister company, which licenses music videos when they are played in public or broadcast on TV – an increase of £1.6 million year-on-year.

PPL, which licenses the use of recorded music in the UK and collects neighbouring rights royalties on behalf of performers and recording rightsholders internationally, cited the continued recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic – as more businesses re-opened in the UK and globally – as a key factor in achieving the unparalleled payments total.

The company said its growing network of international agreements with other collective management organisations (CMOs), which helps royalty money to flow quickly around the world, was also a strong contributor.

The number of independent rightsholders paid by PPL has increased by 20% since 2019, with the distribution payment amount jumping 19% year on year in 2023.

PPL CEO Peter Leathem OBE said, “2023 was a record year for PPL and all our members, with a total of £279.6 million paid out. We understand these payments are critical for many and we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver them consistently and on time. As neighbouring rights continue to develop around the world, we see a huge opportunity ahead to grow our market share and maximise revenues for performers and recording rightsholders.”