Music Week Awards accountancy winners urge industry to improve transparency for streaming royalties

Music Week Awards accountancy winners urge industry to improve transparency for streaming royalties

Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman won the Accountancy Firm Of The Year trophy at the Music Week Awards 2023

The company’s MDs Mike Skeet and Jeff Kaye spoke to Music Week about their victory backstage at the sold-out ceremony, which took place at Evolution London in Battersea. 

“It’s great,” said Skeet (pictured, holding trophy). “We weren’t expecting it. We won it in 2019 [as Skeet, Kaye, Hopkins] when they first introduced the award, it's lovely to win it a second time. 

“What's more important to us is the recognition it gives those of us behind the scenes who don’t often get seen. So to some degree, it's an award for all the companies nominated, as well as us, because it's for recognition of the sector.”

Skeet suggested the victory was theirs “because we just get on and do a good job, and people like working with us”.

Fellow MD Jeff Kaye (pictured, fifth from right) underlined the company’s proactive approach to career development.

“We try to bring people right through the ranks and develop their careers in the industry,” he told Music Week. “We think they really prosper under our roof. We work hard on the progress of the careers of our people.”

Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman also worked hard to help clients during the pandemic, which was a challenge for the accountancy firm itself.

“A huge chunk of our work is touring,” said Mike Skeet. “That's where we really get deeply involved. Obviously, it hit us that there was no touring because we have to earn money from that. But we had to help our clients get through that period and get them through not earning anything for two years, or earning a lot less, and just helping them navigate that.”

We pride ourselves in the use of technology – we have to match fire with fire

Jeff Kaye

While the growing streaming economy has powered the music industry in the past decade, the government appears ready to intervene on behalf of music creators. Ministers are to establish a working group on streaming remuneration and an agreement to improve metadata.

The government has also committed to publish codes of practice on metadata and transparency for the music industry. 

“We need a huge amount more transparency, a complete end to NDAs with streaming companies, and labels and publishers being more transparent about how they pay royalties out,” said Skeet. 

While there have been some improvements, Skeet said it was “not enough” – although the accountancy firm is confident about its abilities to serve the interests of its music clients.

“We pride ourselves in the use of technology to match the technology that's around the industry,” said Kaye. “We have to match fire with fire so we can follow what's going on out there in the ether, and we need to be alive to all the digital options that we can use to inform our clients.”

Click here for the full list of winners at the Music Week Awards 2023.


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