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A Record Breaking Year in Distributions

Publishers’ Licensing Services announces record total distributions of £43.8 million to publishers in 2023/24.

Publishers’ Licensing Services (PLS) has announced that they distributed a record £43.8 million in collective licensing and permissions revenue to publishers across 2023-2024. The revenue was collected from licensing agents, the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA), who sell licences to education, business, and the public sector, and NLA media access, who sell licences to business and the public sector, as well as through PLS’ award-winning PLSclear permissions service. PLS, who are mandated to license content by over 4,500 publishers, distributed revenue to publishers across the industry including education, academic, trade, and B2B/B2C.

The strong year builds upon the £41.3 million paid out in 2022-2023 and is evidence of the continuing success and relevance of voluntary collective licensing, underscored in 2023 with the conclusion of two significant licensing agreements with NHS England and the UK Higher Education sector, as well as the continued growth of CLA and NLA business licensing.

PLS, who will host their free annual conference on 4 July at 1 Wimpole Street, London, are currently working closely with the CLA and fellow CLA members to develop new licences for generative artificial intelligence, recognising a clear role for voluntary collective licensing in ensuring respect for copyright and securing remuneration for rightsholders.

Tom West, Chief Executive of PLS said:

“We are delighted to announce another record year of payments to publishers. PLS has a deeply held belief in the value that collective licensing brings to publishers and the creative industries overall, and to those that want to access and use the rich and varied content created. These results clearly illustrate how relevant such licensing models remain as we seek to play our part in responding to the various challenges facing the industry. Special thanks go also to the work of our licensing agents, CLA and NLA media access who have once again done such a fantastic job on our behalf.”

Amy Ellis, Head of Rights and Licensing at PLS said:

“We know how important this revenue is to the publishers we represent, covering the full range of sectors, both large and small, and so getting the money out on schedule each month is a responsibility we take very seriously. To have paid out record revenues in over 15,000 payments over the course of the year is particularly satisfying.”