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PPL Predicts 2021 Revenue Recovery

At the PPL Annual General Meeting, Peter Leathem, PPL’s chief executive officer, said that he is “cautiously optimistic about PPL’s UK collections, and we expect our revenues will recover this year to beat our 2020 numbers, although they will not yet exceed pre-Covid levels”.

The AGM detailed 2020’s financial results, which can also be found in PPL’s newly-published Annual Review. PPL’s total revenue reached £225.7 million – a 17% decrease compared with 2019.

In 2020 PPL also distributed over £260 million, with over 135,000 performers and recording rightsholders, either as members of PPL, VPL or another collective management organisation, receiving at least one payment – both record figures for a single financial year.

In his speech Leathem highlighted how, by working with its partners around the world, PPL was helping to grow the neighbouring rights industry through projects such as RDx, a data exchange service established by IFPI and WIN.

Projects such as this will make the sharing of data and information across the recorded music industry more accurate and efficient, in turn resulting in more accurate and efficient royalty payments.

One year on from the death of George Floyd and Blackout Tuesday, he re-stated PPL’s commitment to bringing about a more equitable, diverse and inclusive music industry:

“This time last week marked the first anniversary of Blackout Tuesday, a day of collective action to address the issue of racism. For us at PPL, it served as an opportunity to take stock and consider what more we could do to make real and meaningful change.

"Although equity, diversity and inclusion has long been an important area of focus for PPL, over this past year we have introduced a number of policies and initiatives, which we recognise is only the start of the process, but we are trying to proactively drive change.”

We expect our revenues will recover this year to beat our 2020 numbers, although they will not yet exceed pre-Covid levels. Peter Leathem

In his speech, Leathem also said:

“Although the pandemic had a particularly devastating impact on our public performance revenue, it is pleasing to see that our other revenue streams held up strongly in 2020.

"Broadcast was only down by a few percent on the previous year thanks to the long-term licences we have in place and during lockdown we were reminded of the still-vital role that radio and TV plays in our lives. Despite many people having prematurely written off these traditional media, millions forced to stay at home turned to their favourite radio stations and TV channels for news, comfort and entertainment.

“Looking ahead, we expect our international collections will decline to some extent this year because of the impact of Covid, but the situation will vary from territory to territory depending on what restrictions have been in place, for how long and when they ease."