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Leicester Mayor welcomes PPL PRS Ltd to city at launch event

Leicester City’s Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, attended a reception on Wednesday evening hosted by PPL PRS Ltd to celebrate the launch of the new 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.

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 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 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.

Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby addressed the 120 guests, welcoming the firm 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 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 £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 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.

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.”

Some Music Facts

  • 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.
  • PPL and PRS for Music have a joint repertoire of over 33 million musical works and recordings with around 400,000 sites and business premises currently licensed to play these works publicly
  • The first track ever to be licensed by PPL was a recording of Mendelssohn’s ‘Symphony No. 4 in A Op.90: Salterello’ – recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Kingsway Hall.  This was after Stephen Carwardine & Co, a coffee shop in Bristol had been heard playing the record.  PPL now has over 11 million recordings in its database and 35,000 new recordings are registered each week.
  • The first official PRS for Music member was operatic soprano and composer Liza Lehmann, who was known for her vocal compositions. She registered in 1914, the year PRS for Music was founded.
  • The first piece of music to be played on BBC Radio Leicester, when it launched on 8 November 1967, was a version of the Posthorn Gallop.


Further information on PPL PRS Ltd available from its website:

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