New £270 million music licensing company launches in Leicester

The home of Kasabian welcomes PPL PRS to the city

This week sees the official launch of a new music licensing company – PPL PRS Ltd – in the city of Leicester. The company is a joint venture between the UK’s two music licensing bodies (also known as ‘collective management organisations’ or ‘CMOs’), PPL and PRS for Music.

The 200-person company is equally owned by the two CMOs and has been created to provide customers with a streamlined service, a single point of contact, and one licence covering both companies’ respective rights, thereby simplifying the administration and making it easier to play and perform music in public. The new joint licence is called TheMusicLicence and brings to an end the need for customers to purchase separate PPL and PRS for Music licences from each individual organisation.

In 2016, almost £270 million was generated by PPL and PRS for Music through the licensing of live and recorded music to businesses and organisations – from bars, pubs and clubs to hairdressers, fitness centres and hotels. After running costs, this money was distributed to members of both organisations.  Forming PPL PRS is the single biggest change in the history of licensing such businesses – known as public performance licensing – and the largest of its kind in the world.  It will continue to bring significant value to the music industry; the work that every musician, producer, songwriter and singer has put into the music that is being played will continue to be fairly rewarded through the revenue collected via TheMusicLicence.

The official launch event, attended by local Leicester business leaders and journalists, as well as music producers, songwriters and performers, was held at the company’s new office. Guests were given a tour of the renovated offices and shown the music-inspired mural, a talking point of the refurbishment, created by The Graphic History Company. Entertainment was provided by emerging Leicester artist, Magique, who has recently featured on BBC Music Introducing. The launch has also been welcomed by the Minister for Intellectual Property, Sam Gyimah.

PPL PRS Managing Director, Suzanne Smith, welcomed guests to the event, adding how delighted the company is to have made its home in the city. When choosing Leicester, the company looked at the number of benefits the city had to offer, the local talent pool, property availability and location, the links to London and also the rest of the country. All these factors made Leicester the most suitable choice for the location of the new joint venture.

Leicester City’s Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby addressed the 120 guests, welcoming the company to Leicester saying: ‘‘I know that PPL PRS considered a number of locations, before deciding to launch in our city, so I’m delighted that they recognised the benefits of doing business here in Leicester. I hope that the staff who have moved to Leicester to work for the new company will enjoy everything the city has to offer, and I wish PPL PRS every success.’

Peter Leathem, PPL Chief Executive Officer, and Paul Clements, Executive Director of Membership, International & Licensing at PRS for Music followed with a history of how the joint venture began in 2016, to its launch in early 2018 and the benefits they hope it will bring to members and licensees alike. Both thanked everyone involved in making the launch of PPL PRS a success.

Platinum selling Leicester band Kasabian welcomed the company to the city saying: “Proud to have you in our hometown. Thanks for everything you do to help artists. Love Sergio, Tom and Chris.”

PPL and PRS for Music have a joint repertoire of over 33 million works and recordings, and there are around 400,000 sites currently licensed to play these works publicly. With the introduction of TheMusicLicence, and the simplicity it is expected to bring to customers buying a licence, this number is expected to increase.

Record producer Steve Levine said:
“As a PRS for Music Board Member and PPL attendee I feel immensely proud that we now have PPL PRS up and running. Last night’s launch was most enjoyable.  The importance of this venture cannot be understated. So many songwriters, artists and music producers rely on this important income stream. With so many new businesses making music an important a part of their customer experience the fact that PPL PRS can now offer easy one stop music license solutions is the way forward.  I’d argue it’s so brilliant that I am certain other countries will follow our lead.”

Jonathan Gregory, Commercial Director, Leicester City Football Club said:
“Was fantastic to be invited to the official launch party for PPL PRS, it really was a great evening.  Having such an exciting business joining us here in Leicester is a very welcome addition, and the passion and atmosphere felt at the event last night can only add to the vibrancy felt throughout Leicester at the moment!”

Mukesh Patel, Managing Partner, Freeths Leicester said:
“The official launch party for PPL PRS at their impressively refurbished offices was a great event.  There was a fantastic atmosphere and buzz around the room.  It’s great to see such a dynamic business like this operating in the heart of Leicester and it demonstrates that the city and county are on the up and the buzz in the room mirrors the buzz in the region.  The icing on the cake was the glamour added by Sheila Fergusson of the Three degrees, HRH, the Prince of Wales would be envious!”

Nik Sharpe, Handmade Festival said:
“It’s great to see TheMusicLicense launch here in Leicester. A major music industry business will only add to the growing scene here."

PPL Chief Executive Officer Peter Leathem:
“The launch of PPL PRS Ltd marks a landmark moment in the licensing of the UK music industry’s creative output.  It is a hugely ambitious initiative and one that comes as the result of a great deal of hard work on the part of the parent companies PPL and PRS for Music and all other parties involved.  The creation of the new company will not only simplify the licensing process for our customers but it will also subsequently make our operations even more efficient, resulting in increased revenue for our members.”

Managing Director, PPL PRS LtdSuzanne Smith
"We were delighted to welcome so many prominent local business leaders, venue owners and of course Leicester City’s Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, to our offices to celebrate the official launch of PPL PRS and TheMusicLicence. We are very excited to have now launched TheMusicLicence and we look forward to enabling companies and organisations to enhance their customer and employee experience by playing music in their premises.”

Further information on PPL PRS Ltd available from its website:www.pplprs.co.uk