PPL review sparks outrage

October 2011

Live events industry

Live UK magazine reports that venue owners and club promoters are horrified at the review being conducted by Phonographic Performance Limited  – PPL – the body that collects royalties due to record labels and recording artists every time a sound recording is played in public. PPL is also reviewing its live venue licences, which, it says, haven’t been amended since 1990. There is an underlying suspicion that any review will result in an upwards  hike in charges, but smaller venue owners and promoters are angered at some of proposed new rates put forward as part of the consultation which they say might lead to increases of 2000%. Live UK says that the rates being proposed would mean a three hour club night attended by 500 people, which would currently expect to pay £37.21 in royalties, could have to pay in excess of £600. PPL has stressed that any figures shared with licensees are as part of its consultation and that these are proposals intended to initiate debate. Some promoters admit that they suspect the collecting society really envisages that final rates – after consultation and negotiation – will actually be quite a bit lower. However, others have said they do fear what impact the new royalty rates, and any new licence application processes, put in place by this review could have on their businesses. Former MAMA Group executive Steve Forster, now running a three-venue complex in Birmingham, told Audience: “I think this would potentially put a number of venues out of business and probably the majority. I don’t know if these figures have been put forward as a shock tactic, but I can’t see any justification in this at all. As a small chain of independents, we’ll be resisting this vociferously”.
Live UK Issue 140 September 2011. The consultation is available and responses can be submitted (by 14 October) to www.ppluk.com

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