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PRS and PPL name new joint venture, appoint MD

By | Published on Tuesday 23 May 2017


Bad news for all you suckers out there who put good money on PRS and PPL going with the obvious name of PRS PPL Ltd for their new licensing joint venture.

Though think about it for a second. Performing Right Society Phonographic Performance Limited Limited. Double limited see – that was never going to work. Apply some logic, and just a little bit of imagination, and you too would have reached the conclusion that the only possible name for the new licensing joint venture from PPL and PRS was: PPL PRS Ltd.

So yes, Phonographic Performance Limited Performing Right Society Limited has been officially named, and has an MD confirmed as well in the form of Suzanne Smith. Oh, and the combined public performance licence administered by the new entity will be known as TheMusicLicence. Now you are fully up to speed.

PPL – representing recording copyrights – and PRS – representing song copyrights – announced that they were launching a joint venture to handle public performance licensing last year. The new entity will take over licensing the public performance of sound recordings in the UK – where both recording and song rights are exploited at the same time – in a bid to simplify the licensing process for licensees.

Any business or organisation that operates a building or space where recorded music is played – which includes factories and offices – needs a licence for both the recording and song rights. However, such non-specialist licensees often don’t understand the distinction between the two sets of music rights. In the past, many would have a PRS licence but wouldn’t even know PPL existed, the record industry having only really started to proactively focus on public performance income after CD sales started to slide.

Having one organisation collecting monies for both PPL and PRS is more efficient, plus meets government objectives to make copyright licensing simpler. The New Zealand collecting societies did something similar in 2013 with their OneMusic initiative, something now being pursued in Australia too. Back in the UK, PPL and PRS have previously offered a handful of combined licences, which the new joint venture builds on.

Confirming her new role, Suzanne Smith, who joins Leicester-based PPL PRS Ltd from credit rating company Experian, said: “I am excited to be joining PPL and PRS For Music’s new venture from day one. We will be building a business committed to delivering the best music licensing experience in the world. Through TheMusicLicence, PPL PRS will ensure that the creators of the music that brings so much value to those UK businesses that play music are fairly rewarded”.