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COVID-19: PPL has donated $875,000 to Music Industry relief funds

The sum will be divided up amongst three COVID-19 relief funds, including AIM’s, Musician Unions’, and Help Musicians’.

MBN Staff



3 min read

Story Highlights

  • The funds will be divided up amongst three COVID-19 relief funds.
  • UK Music has called upon the British Government to give better support to the music industry amid COVID-19.

British music licensing company PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) are giving back to their members. Today, the non-profit organization announced they were pledging a total donation of £700,000 ($875k) to three COVID-19 relief funds established to support music industry professionals. Of the sum, £200,000 ($250k) will be split equally between AIM’s COVID-19 Crisis Fund and the Musicians’ Union’s Coronavirus Hardship Fund. The remaining £500,000 ($625k) will go to the ‘Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship’ Fund.

After launching on March 15th with an initial pot of £5m, the Help Musicians Fund has had an overwhelming response – receiving over 17,000 applications.

Since then, Help Musicians has had additional donations from Spotify, Amazon Music, Arts Council for England, The Royal Society of Musicians, and now PPL. However, due to the volume of applications that have come in, they have now ceased accepting any new enquiries. Outstanding applications will still be processed, with approved ones receiving a one-off payment of £500 ($625).

James Ainscough, Help Musicians’ Chief Executive said: “We gratefully welcome the financial contribution and continued support of PPL to Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship funding.

“Demand for financial support has been overwhelming and we are seeing first-hand how the monies are supporting the many thousands in the music community who desperately need it. We are grateful to all of those who have responded to our plea for donations and this latest contribution from PPL will significantly boost our ability to help musicians”, he added.

Demand for financial support has been overwhelming

The Musicians’ Union Fund opened a starting fund of £1million ($1.2m) to its members – granting applications of £200 ($250). Like most of these funds, hopefuls must be suffering from a loss of income due to the pandemic in order to apply.

Musicians’ Union General Secretary Horace Trubridge stated: “The Musicians’ Union has been working around the clock to provide much-needed support and advice to its membership. PPL’s donation to our Hardship Fund will enable us to reach even more musicians who are struggling through these challenging times”


Differing slightly from the demographic of the Help Musicians and Musicians Union COVID-19 initiatives is AIM. The Association of Independent Music’s fund is more so targeted at music industry contractors and freelancers that were due to work with artists signed to AIM’s indie member labels prior to the coronavirus shutdowns. According to the company’s website, this includes ‘tour crews, studio producers, mixing engineers, radio pluggers, graphic designers, stylists, photographers, publicists’, and more.

Paul Pacifico, current CEO of AIM said: “The launch of the AIM COVID-19 Crisis Fund was a call to arms to ensure that all those working in the music industry, including contractors and freelancers who play such vital roles in the success of labels and artists, can weather these tough times.

“I am delighted that PPL has confirmed a donation to the fund which will increase the level of support we can provide in the short-term to these individuals”, he continued.

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Approved applicants of AIM’s crisis fund will instantly receive anywhere up to £1,000 – depending on the amount of income lost.

With 96% of music businesses losing income over the past two months (a direct result of COVID-19), the widespread support given to those impacted is certainly much needed. Trade Body UK Music recently voiced strong concerns to the British Government, regarding the need for better assistance to individuals in the music industry – particularly the ‘lower earners’.

In a statement address to British Government officials, UK Music shared: “Many in our industry are directors of their own small firms“.

However, company directors are disqualified from the self-employed scheme and cannot furlough themselves as this would stop their businesses from operating. They need urgent government help to make sure these individuals, often low earners, do not slip through the net”.

This was in response to a government stimulus package offered to self-employed workers. Whilst sole traders (the UK equivalent of a sole proprietor) are covered in the package, company directors are not. These, however, make up a significant portion of those working in the music business – from some artist managers/management companies, pr firms, independent record labels and beyond.

Prior to making this £700,000 donation, PPL just recently made a quarterly royalties payout of £87.6 million ($11million) to its right holder member – sent March 31.

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UK Albums Chart Data: Kylie Minogue Hits No. 1 From Vinyl Alone

Australia pop icon Kylie Minogue recently scores her ninth UK No. 1 album with ‘Tension’, according to chart data.

MBN Staff



Credit: Getty Images
3 min read

Story Highlights

  • Minogue shifted over 19k on vinyl, outselling the Number 2 album’s total combined sales.

Australian singer Kylie Minogue’s latest record moved 53,200 units to clinch the top spot on last week’s UK Albums Chart. ‘Tension’ marks Minogue’s first chart-topping album since 2020’s ‘DISCO’. The album’s title track and lead single ‘Padam Padam’ also cracked the UK Top 10 in recent months.

With nine UK No. 1 albums now to her credit, Minogue now joins elite company, with only Taylor Swift and Madonna now having more chart-topping albums as female solo artists (10 and 12 respectively). Additionally, Kylie is now tied with Coldplay and Bob Dylan, who also each boast nine UK No. 1 albums.

Breaking down to individual formats, ‘Tension’ moved 19,200 vinyl units, which allowed it to concurrently top the Official Vinyl Album Chart – demonstrating a generational love for physical amongst boomers. Impressively, Minogue’s vinyl sales alone not only outsold her streaming equivalent units, but it also would’ve still landed her the No. 1 spot even if the album did not sell on any other format.

Olivia Rodrigo performs onstage the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on September 12, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for MTV)

Elsewhere on last week’s chart, pop phenom Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album  ‘GUTS’, held firm at Number 2 in its third week, selling 16,600 copies. Rodrigo notably co-penned every one of the 11 tracks.

Rounding out the Top 3 is The Weeknd’s greatest hits compilation ‘The Highlights’. Now at 138 weeks on the chart, the album continues selling – which we can assume is partly in thanks to the success of singles like ‘Blinding Lights’, ‘Save Your Tears’, as well as his current world stadium tour.

Making waves with a No. 4 debut is the collaborative drill project ‘STRENGTH TO STRENGTH’ by Headie One & K-Trap. The album moved 6,300 units last week, becoming Headie One’s third Top 5 entry. For K-Trap, it marks a new personal best on the UK Albums chart.

US rapper Doja Cat claimed No. 5 with her fourth studio set ‘Scarlet’. Propelled by lead single ‘Attention’, the album kicked off with 6,100 total sales. Now with her third Top 5 LP, Doja Cat affirms her pop dominance on both sides of the pond.

Pop juggernaut Taylor Swift also claims two titles inside the Top 10 – ‘Midnights’ at Number Eight and ‘1989’ at No. 10, continuing to rack up notable sales week after week.

See below for a full sales breakdown of the UK’s Top 10, for the week ending Thursday, September 28th, 2023.

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JKBX Allows You To Invest in Beyoncé’s Catalog

Music tech startup JKBX seeks to revolution music investment by allowing everyday fans to invest in their favorite songs.

MBN Staff



Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood
3 min read

Story Highlights

  • JKBX, Founded by Scott Cohen, Seeks to Revolutionize Music Investment.

The emergence of song royalty trading platform JKBX has been creating quite the buzz in the music biz over the past year. After announcing plans to give fans and investors the chance to own royalty shares in hit songs, the company officially launched its platform this week.

Founded by former Warner Music Group Chief Innovator Officer Scott Cohen, JKBX is aiming to shake up the industry by bringing high-value songs to retail investors and music lovers. The platform went live on Tuesday, September 12, allowing users to reserve shares in smash hits ahead of their public listing.

While you can’t buy just yet, reserving secures you a spot to purchase royalty shares ahead of JKBX’s full approval from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company will need the green light from the SEC before it can start officially selling stakes in these songs.

Credit: Ed Sheeran, "Bad Habits" (YouTube)

JKBX has already listed dozens of chart-toppers written by superstars such as Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, the Jonas Brothers and more. Each listing shows you stats like price per share, estimated royalty yield, streaming numbers, and revenue.

For example, one share in the composition for “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers is currently priced at $28.41, whereas a share in the sound recording of the song (the master), is priced at $28.54 per share.

For anyone wondering how Ryan Tedder is able to offer shares in the master recording of the song through JKBX, let us explain. While Tedder does not actually own the ‘master’ (the song is owned by vanity label Jonas Brothers Recording, exclusively licensed by Republic Records), Tedder does have royalty points on the song as a producer, which is what he is offering on JKBX.

Credit: Spotify (captured by Music Biz Nation)

Cohen, who co-founded Sony Music’s The Orchard before joining Warner, says JKBX was created to give everyone access to owning successful songs.  In a press release, the company says they are “bringing high-value songs to millions of retail investors and music fans alike”. “It’s an opportunity for people to invest in music they know and love.”

While JKBX awaits SEC approval, Cohen remains optimistic they will give them the go ahead. He stated, “We’re in the process of seeking regulated approval so customers can start purchasing royalty shares as a regulated offering.”

But how likely is it that the SEC grants approval to this disruptive and unprecedented business model? Forbes Contributor Bill Hochberg questioned whether or not exchange-traded song royalties will be a good investment.

Scott Cohen | JKBX Founder

We are bringing high-value songs to millions of retail investors and music fans alike.

In additon to its main platform, JKBX has also launched a Creator Program to pay artists whose songs get listed. The company will share revenue with them, even if they don’t own rights. Cohen defended the move, saying “When a songwriter or producer sells the rights to their work, they do not need to get the consent from the original recording artists. We wanted to defy this industry norm and actively go out of our way to make the recording artists aware of the listings on our marketplace.” 

The platform’s affiliate Jukebox Hits Vol. 1 will work with rightsholders to determine which songs to list. They’ll then purchase a cut of the royalty streams and then sell pieces to investors on JKBX. So while you won’t actually own the rights, you’ll get paid as the songs earn royalties.

JKBX believes this new way of investing in music will transform the industry. Everyday people now have a chance to profit off the success of their favorite songs. As Cohen put it, “We’re a small company with big ambitions”. Time will tell if the SEC agrees to let their vision become a reality.

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