PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) is consulting with its current customer base on a series of proposed changes to their small hotels tariff which applies to residential hotels and guesthouse with fewer than 25 bedrooms in the UK. (Thanks to the Tourism Alliance for alerting us to this).
The changes will see the definition of small fall to 15 or fewer rooms, modest increases in some existing fees (background music in bars and other public areas) new fees being charged for service that were previously exempt in premises with fewer than 25 rooms (music in bedrooms, available via TV, radio or CD and CD player) and, on a positive note, the future exemption altogether on premises with 3 or fewer rooms from PPL licencing fees.
Depending on circumstance for premises of more than 3 and fewer than 15 it could be a modest increase of c £5 pa or an increase or for many, a new charge of c £50 to c £55, more than doubling some of the existing fees paid. For hotel of more than 15 room and fewer than 25 rooms, again depending on circumstance, it could be an increase of just c£5 or of c£70. It’s a tad complicated and all of this is explained in the consultation document below.
For those like me who have forgotten, PPL is charged entirely separately and in addition to PRS (Performing Rights Society for music); PPL is essential a licence fee for the use of recorded music and PRS a licencing fee for the right to use the intellectual property of song writers, composers and music publishers. The two separate organisations are trying where possible to apply similar definitions and thresholds in order to simplify the process.
If accepted (as seems likely) the new charges will come into effect from 1 January 2017 or from the next individual premises licence renewal date thereafter. The consultation which is expressly for individual businesses opened on 22 July and closes on 19 August 2016.
I don’t propose to respond, PPL aren’t actually encouraging third party comment and I am not suggesting destination managers should respond either. I do, however, think you should be aware of the likelihood of yet another increase in small business costs for local accommodation partners. Local hotel and guesthouse associations really should be aware of the consultation by now and may wish to comment themselves, however, you might wish to be seen to be proactive and check that they are, especially whilst there is still a week plus for comment?