Music licensing organisation PPL is to use Soundmouse audio-recognition technology to keep tabs on the music composed by its roster of 46,000 artists.

PPL said the deal would help to establish if broadcasters without PPL licences are using its music, or if licensees are under-reporting the amount of music they use.

PPL director of licensing Tony Clark said he expects the deal with Soundmouse to “substantially benefit PPL members”, but that extracting more revenue from broadcasters was not the main aim.

“That [extra revenue] would be a bonus if it emerges, but the primary drive of this partnership is to ensure the accuracy of distribution [of revenues] to our members,” he said.

Soundmouse will monitor music on TV and radio across a range of terrestrial and satellite channels.

It claims its software can accurately recognise very short samples of music in distorted environments where layers of sound have been mixed in with the original.

Previously, PPL has relied solely on information provided by broadcasters. PPL head of distribution Tim Silver acknowledged that previously it had been difficult to identify music, but said the new technology would make life easier for broadcasters.

“Identifying music becomes a practical proposition,” he said. “The [unlicensed] channels that we might capture using our music are way down on the Sky platform.

“We’re not expecting a huge change. It’s largely a fact-finding audit. Broadcasters are enthusiastic - the technology could make their reporting much more efficient.”

PPL has written agreements with 180 terrestrial, cable and satellite channels. Clark said licensees will be informed in advance of the technology being rolled out.