Les Mills and Music

There is no way of sugar-coating the news: the cost to clubs of providing Group Fitness classes using original music is set to increase. What does this mean for you as an instructor? We have pulled together all the facts here for you, and although we don’t know how this will affect each of you individually, we are here to make sure you are informed on the position of Les Mills with regards to music in Group X.

Ultimately, we believe that we are in the business of motivation as much as fitness, we need to keep our members happy, engaged and enthused about group exercise – and there’s plenty of proof that what we offer, including music from the most popular recording artists, does that better than any other fitness programm.

With every new release Les Mills has to license songs from music providers and we are the only fitness company in the world that has global blanket licenses with all the major labels;, Sony, Warner Music, EMI, Universal and the larger independents such as Ministry of Sound and Central Station Records. And that is something we’re quite proud of. Because of the hard work our team has put in to working with the record companies, we are able to put original songs into our programmes, so when Glen O hears a track and can imagine the greatest squat track ever, our guys in the music licenscing team can get the actual song licensed so you and your class get to experience exactly how the class was originally envisaged. When Gandalf creates a release and puts a Rihanna song on it, your class members will hear Rihanna singing in your class, and that is the way it should be.

The boring bits: FACTS

When we create releases we have to clear 2 separate licenses for all songs – the publishing that covers the song writing element and covered by the PRS license; and the recording side – that is about the actual audio – and this is covered by PPL.

The new PPL licences affect clubs and instructors in different ways.


If you teach in a health club or regular gym you are no longer required to hold personal PPL licences as the new regulations require the clubs and facilities to pay the PPL fees.

There has been a working group of industry heads that have negotiated over the PPL for close to 4 years and the agreed costs are now set as from May 2013 at £0.95 per class rising every year to finally become £1.88 in 2017. For full details on how you might be affected by the changes to PPL visit www.ppluk.com .


For most we hope the only change is that you no longer need a PPL licence and you can continue to teach Les Mills classes with the great original songs, but in our experience it is never as simple as this.

A small number of clubs have made the decision to make their sites PPL free. In this situation we are in a position to work with the clubs to deliver cover music to their instructors so they can continue teaching the great Les Mills workouts. It’ Is not an ideal situation that some instructors will be teaching in some clubs that offer original music, and some that are PPL free, this is a unique circumstance that we are in – and the best we can do is try to support all of you the best we can. We are still coming up with the solution – but if you happened to have any suggestions we would love to hear from you.

Like you, we are stuck in the middle of this, and we are focused on continuing to make sure that the delivery of Les Mills Group X classes is kept to the high standards that your class members are used to – and this totally depends on the quality of the instructor and the music.

That is why we are taking this situation very seriously.

We have taken it upon ourselves to create ALL of the cover versions on the PPL free versions of Les Mills classes ourselves – we don’t just buy cover versions off the shelf. There is a large production team of musicians, producers and engineers that record and deliver the best cover versions of the popular songs so our classes can still be enjoyed by your members to the full.

We are here to support you as our Les Mills UK tribe. We are all about growing a high quality Group X experience for you and your members and with this continually evolving landscape and with every change we will do our best to keep you informed and supported.