Collecting society revenues are an important metric to judge the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on musicians’ (and specifically on songwriters’) incomes.

UK society PPL has announced its latest figures this morning, and they show £225.7m of collections in 2020: down 17% year-on-year. However, PPL pointed out that this was still its third-highest annual collections total ever.

The breakdown shows where the pandemic has hit hardest. International collections were down just 0.9% to £85.9m; broadcast and online income dipped by 3.8% to £82.3m; but public performance and dubbing collections fell by 42.2% to £57.5m. PPL distributed £260.2m in 2020, up 15.2% year-on-year, to more than 135,000 musicians and rightsholders.

“In the short-term, as COVID-19 restrictions further ease in the UK, we expect our domestic revenues will begin to recover this year, although we are not yet expecting a return to pre-COVID levels. Our international revenues may be impacted over a longer period of time because of the pandemic, although to what extent will vary from territory to territory,” said CEO Peter Leathem.

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