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Performance Right Community Gathers In London

LONDON (VIP-NEWS) — "Getting a fair deal for music" was the underlying theme of a two-day international industry summit this week in central London which focused on the steadily growing income stream that is performance rights revenue.

Public performance right representatives from 47 societies and 42 countries gathered at the summit, which wrapped today, where the agenda tackled ways to raise awareness of the value of music, and improve the efficiency of royalty collection.

The annual meeting, organized by the IFPI and hosted by collecting society PPL, was a timely one. New figures to be published in the IFPI's "Recording Industry In Numbers" yearbook will indicate that distributions to producers in 2007 increased 11% to $660 million. That sector has grown by 54% in the past five years, the report will boast. Performance rights income is roughly split 50-50 between producers and performers.

Although the current overall royalty figure is relatively small, the area is a growing interest because the demand for music by businesses such as bars and restaurants is constantly rising.

"We have to become much smarter and proactive in persuading businesses that music can be a key driver of their success," comments PPL/VPL chairman and CEO Fran Nevrkla, in the report. He adds, "Our rights as suppliers of recorded music must be respected and monetized at the right level."

Some countries saw sharp growth, according to the report, particularly the Netherlands, which rose 35% year on year. The U.K., which already represents 20% of global collections, rose 5%.

"Businesses across the world are using recorded music more than ever to drive their revenues and attract customers – the job for IFPI and our collecting societies is to make sure that that music is being fairly valued and not just subsidising other people's profits," commented John Kennedy, IFPI chairman and CEO, following the meeting.

He adds, "There is a big awareness-raising exercise to be done, and improvements are needed in the efficiencies of our collections. There have been some real successes in this area in the last few years, such as in the Netherlands, Australia and the U.K. But this is only just the start of a process to secure a proper value for music by the businesses using it."

Guests at this week's gathering also showed their support for the formation of the MusicFIRST coalition in the U.S., a partnership of artists and music industry organizations whose shared goal is to urge Congress to create a performance right under copyright law for terrestrial broadcasting,according to Billboard