In his Majesty the King’s New Year Honours List, Peter Leathem has been awarded the honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (“OBE”) for services to the music industry.
Leathem has been a director of PPL since 2006 and was appointed to the role of CEO in 2012. He is a director of PPL PRS Ltd, the public performance licensing joint venture company with PRS for Music, which he played a key role in creating during his time as PPL CEO, after PPL and PRS had for 80 years separately licensed public premises playing music. He is also CEO of VPL (the music video licensing company) and a director of UK Music (the music industry trade body).
Leathem said, “To be awarded an OBE for services to music is an enormous honour. I am so proud to lead PPL, which plays such an important role for the 165,000 performers and recording rightsholders that we pay each year, as well as supporting talent development, artist welfare and music education via the funding of many organisations and initiatives. Music brings so much to the UK culturally and economically, with the UK punching above its weight on the world stage. However, I am acutely conscious that for many of our incredibly talented performers it can be a tough existence. So I am delighted that PPL is able to provide the support that it does, and I have been very pleased to be able to support charities that also do great work, such as BAPAM (the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine), the healthcare charity for performers, actors and dancers, of which I am the Chair.”
In addition to being Chair of BAPAM, he led PPL’s initiatives, particularly through the COVID pandemic to support broad sections of the UK music industry, with PPL providing significant financial contributions to the hardship funds administered by AIM, the BPI, Help Musicians, the Music Managers Forum, the Musicians’ Union, and Stagehand. PPL has also made significant financial contributions to Music Minds Matter, the mental health support line and service for the UK music community and the PRS Foundation for the PPL Momentum Fund, International Showcase Fund and Talent Development Partners.
He is also a member of the board of SCAPR (the trade body for collective management organisations (CMOs) around the world representing performers) and a Trustee of the Ivors Academy Trust (a charity which seeks to educate the public and to empower and support music creators).
Last year (2021) PPL collected £252.8 million ($347.7m) for 2021, up 12% from 2020, on behalf of its performer and recording rightsholder members and only this month announced its Q4 distribution payments of £43.2 million ($52.5m) to approximately 148,000 performers and recording rightsholders, the highest number ever paid in a quarterly distribution.
Peter Leathem joined PPL as Head of Legal and Business Affairs in 2002. Following several senior positions within the company since that time, including Managing Director, he was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer in January 2012. Prior to joining the company, he was a partner for eight years with City law firm GSC Solicitors, where he specialised in intellectual property and was Head of the Intellectual Property Department. Until recently he was also for 12 years a director of the British Copyright Council (which represents the broader copyright community).