PPL, the royalties agency for singers, bands and record companies, has collected a record £127.6m for artists based on airplay of their recordings in 2008.

Licensing revenue, which represents the fees collected in the UK from broadcasters and the various licensed businesses that userecordings in public, grew 11 per cent to £127.6m (£115m). Over the past 4 years revenues have jumped 54 per cent. sound

The most played song on the radio and in restaurants last year was “Mercysung by Duffy, who earnt about £100,000 in performance royalties alone.

The most significant area of royalty growth came from international revenues which jumped by 69 per cent to £15.4m as reciprocal agreements to collect royalties were extended.

Distributable revenue, the monies paid out to record companies and performers for the use of sound recordings, grew to a record £110.3m.

PPL is hoping to make a further £20m a year from the US as politicians debate whether to amend rules which allow radio stations in the country to not pay royalties on the songs that they play.

Fran Nevrkla, chief executive of PPL, said: “We shall continue making every effort to ensure that the rights which the record companies and performers have kindly vested in us are licensed and monetised at the highest appropriate and commercially acceptable levels.”

Last week EMI Music, the recorded music company owned by Terra Firma, the private equity group, said full-year earnings more than tripled on the back of cost-cutting and currency gains.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation jumped from £51m to £163m, while full-year sales rose 4 per cent to £1bn. Excluding the currency impact, sales fell 10 per cent.

The company’s bestsellers last year included Coldplay’s Viva La Vida as well as artists such as Katy Perry. Overall non-physical sales, including digital and licensing rights, represented more than 35 per cent of EMI Music’s income.

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