'It's a great time to be in our business': MPA CEO Jane Dyball's big vision for UK music publishing

'It's a great time to be in our business': MPA CEO Jane Dyball's big vision for UK music publishing

MPA Group CEO Jane Dyball has told members that the organisation aims to be “ambitious” as it implements a major restructure.

Speaking during the MPA AGM at King’s Place in London, Dyball updated members on big changes at the organisation as well as setting out her vision for the future of UK music publishing.

In March, Music Week revealed plans for a revamp of MCPS, which is part of the MPA Group Of Companies, along with the Music Publishers Association and sheet music licensing body PMLL. IMPEL, which was originally part of the MPA/MCPS umbrella, officially launched in partnership with SACEM this week as independent publisher members look to replicate the success of Merlin in driving better digital deals.

Dyball told the AGM audience that she was now focused on the changes needed at the mechanical royalty collection society.

“MCPS will be starting a new multi-territory business in order to give MCPS a digital licensing option ‘at home’,” she said. “There has never been so much choice for music publishers – it’s a great time to be in our business.”

Dyball explained that the strategic licensing review at MCPS was vital for future growth and its ability to pay down the final £5 million of debt on the balance sheet. Mechanical royalties have been challenged in recent years by the decline in physical music sales.

“This work is essential to MCPS’ continued financial recovery and I believe will generate new licensing schemes for MCPS which are market-focused – giving customers the rights they need in a user-friendly way and at a fair price,” she said. “Not only that, but it will show us to be the commercial entities that we are – a group of people wanting to provide licensing solutions to a marketplace of willing customers.”

We are so ambitious to give you a trade association and businesses which are as dynamic as your own businesses

Jane Dyball

With a big vote coming this week in the European Parliament on copyright reform, Dyball had her say on the ever-present ‘value gap’.

“We are at the most crucial stage of decision making relating to the value gap,” she said. “Our focus has been on closing the value gap but there is a real danger that it will widen. We stand united with UK Music, PRS and BASCA and have worked really hard to improve our position and arguments.”

MPA is also looking to the future of the biz with the recent launch of a student membership category and a forthcoming provisional membership option.

“One of the highlights this year for me was setting up a group of for young music publishers provisionally called The YMPA,” Dyball added. “This is a group who are passionate about the training of future music publishers and the need for a peer mentoring network.”

Data in the streaming age was another hot topic at the AGM, and the MPA will be launching a census of the publishing sector in order to accurately represent the needs of the industry to legislators. A publishers’ consultation group for ICE has been set up to explore the effectiveness of the database for members.

“There is so much we want to do and we are so ambitious to give you a trade association and businesses which are as dynamic as your own businesses,” said Dyball.

Dyball announced that the MPA Group will be getting a new HQ as it plans to move out of Pancras Square, home to PRS For Music.

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