Music licensing venture opens up shop in Leicester

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby has attended a reception hosted by PPL PRS Ltd to celebrate the launch of the new joint venture between the UK’s two music licensing bodies, 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 event, attended by local business leaders, venue managers and music industry journalists, was held at Mercury Place where guests were given a tour of the renovated offices and shown the huge 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.

PPL PRS MD Suzanne Smith said the company had chosen Leicester because of benefits the city had to offer, the local talent pool, property availability and location and its links to London, along with the rest of the country. All these factors made Leicester the most suitable choice for the location of the new joint venture.

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

In 2016 almost £270m 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 public performance licensing, and the biggest of its kind in the world.  It will bring a significant value to the music industry, the work that every musician, producer, songwriter and singer has put into the music that is being played around the world will be fairly rewarded through the revenue collected via TheMusicLicence.

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.  Several national large live music venues are already on board and working with PPL PRS to transition to TheMusicLicence.

Guests included Handmade Festival organiser Nik Sharpe, Leicester City Football Club Commercial Director, Jonathan Gregory and Helen Donnellan, Director of Business Engagement for De Montfort University, and the previous Inward Investment Director for Leicester City Council.