Beware the spectre of PPL charges

By Paul Wigham

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Proposal

Beware the spectre of PPL charges
You may have seen the PMA recently regarding the view that PPL’s proposed charges are likely to remain at recommended levels. This follows press articles about the process, including the large sums raised by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and other big groups.

I recently attended an ALMR ‘late-night operator briefing’ where this topic was up there with early morning restriction orders and the late-night levy.

Pub trade — wake up!

I don’t think you realise what this means. I say that because I regularly get questions and discussion on the more emotive topics of landlords, beer ties, and foreign satellite systems. But no-one mentions PPL.

No-one denies that there is a cost to pay for businesses that have invested in artists, but there has to be a sensible limit.

I showed the ALMR slides to my management team and people all but laughed, saying things like: “Can’t be true” and “they can’t do that.”

Erm, wrong.

As an example — a 200-capacity pub with a DJ will be paying £235 per event. A town bar with a weekly disco or karaoke will fork out £12,220 per year for the privilege.

And you thought Sky was expensive.

If yours is a late-night music bar, good luck! Lord knows you are going to need it.

For those who think they will simply not inform PPL, guess what will be item number one on the shopping list following its new-found wealth? Enhanced enforcement procedures.

The proposed rises were intended to start next month, but trade bodies managed to get the proposal sent to review by throwing six-figure sums at the issue on behalf of the rest of the trade.

However, total victory is almost impossible and huge charges will kick in next year. How huge will depend on all of the trade making complaints about the process — and you need to act now.

Please visit the PPL website at​ for more details.

You can rest assured the Performing Right Society will take great interest in this process.

It is in the same business and has the same issues of falling revenue from music sales because of online services. Beware wounded animals with the power of Sony, EMI and Warner Brothers.

  • Paul Wigham is chief executive at All Our Bars

Related topics Legislation

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