Founded in 1941, Phonographic Performance Limited India (PPL) is a performance rights organization licensing its members’ sound recordings for communication to public in the areas of public performance and broadcast. It represents more than 380 record labels,over 800,000 Indian works and more than 1.5 Million International Works, giving it a majority share of the total sound recordings in international and domestic music. Currently PPL has 389 active members.
In our Interview of the Week, we speak to G.B. Aayeer, Managing Director & CEO, Phonographic Performance Limited India about the company’s performance during the pandemic, the IPAB ruling, simplifying the tariff structure and the licencing process and more.
Where does PPL India stand as an entity today?
Business wise, PPL India suffered severe drop in revenues during the pandemic. On one hand, due to restrictions on assembly of people, the mainstay event licensing business came to a virtual standstill and on the other the pick up in background music licensing has been slow due to contraction of business in the retail and the hospitality sectors. Entity-wise, PPL India is awaiting re-registration as a Copyright Society.
What immediate changes, structural or legal, did you make when joined PPL India for making work seamless?
The pandemic forced PPL India to review structural set up of its network. Many of low performing offices were shut down and its business were shifted to existing offices of larger territories. The manpower has been optimised addressing the redundancies. No legal changes are called for as the organisation is operating on well settled principles of the law.
What steps have you taken to simplify the tariff structure and licensing process of PPL India?
Tariff review is a continuous process for collection organisation like PPL. Some of the tariff categories have been made customer friendly and some of it have been tweaked to make it revenue efficient without creating unreasonable burden for the users.
As for the licensing process, we are an extremely efficient technology platform which helps to coordinate issue of Proforma Quotations, final invoices and receipt of fees. PPL India continue to rely on this technology platform.
How does the recent IPAB ruling affect the industry as a whole and PPL India in particular? Are you in favour of the ruling?
The recent IPAB ruling extensively justifies the reasonings for Music Industry to enjoy better rates from the Radio Broadcasters. However, the rates finally proposed in this ruling does not provide grounds to rejoice. The industry including us are exploring various legal options.
Would you like to see further changes made to favour the distributors?
Voluntary compliance of copyright laws by the users would see better revenue potentials for the distributors. The government initiatives in this direction will greatly benefit.