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British music collects 10 per cent more royalties

Blighty rakes it in from NZ, Jamaica

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British musicians saw a 10.7 per cent increase from the public performance of recorded music last year despite the recession.

The revenue growth, revealed in the PPL AGM yesterday (pdf), was mostly down to more countries sending music royalties back to the UK via reciprocal agreements. New Zealand and Jamaica were new this year.

The UK is second only to the US in terms of worldwide popularity of its music, and only three countries have a net surplus when royalties going in and out are added up. In the biggest market for British talent, however, the USA, the radio industry doesn't pay any royalties for the recording, although it does pay songwriters for the music it airs.

In addition to agreements with broadcasters, the PPL also collects from shops, restaurants, hotels and venues that play sound recordings. The money is split 50:50 between the performers and the owner of the sound recording, usually a record label.

Despite the recession, and an order from the Copyright Tribunal to cut rates back to 2003 levels, revenue grew two per cent. The PPL saw licensing income of £143.5m in 2010, with international revenues up 47 per cent. The PPL said its cut of costs fell to 13.6 per cent, the lowest ever.

PPL chairman and chief executive Fran Nervka is to step down at the end of the year, to be succeeded by Peter Leathem. ®

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