MMF criticises 'outmoded and outdated' PRS For Music as Council election results lack diversity

MMF criticises 'outmoded and outdated' PRS For Music as Council election results lack diversity

The Music Managers Forum has reacted to the “disappointing” PRS For Music Members Council election results.

The election has once again failed to see diverse candidates selected by PRS members in the vote. The successful candidates were revealed at today’s AGM.

Michelle Escoffery, president of the Members’ Council, spoke to Music Week earlier this year about her disappointment at the lack of diversity in the 2021 election

"Today's PRS election result is disappointing,” said a statement from the MMF’s leadership, Paul Craig (chair), Kwame Kwaten (vice chair) and Annabella Coldrick (chief executive). “Last week at The Ivors we all celebrated the diversity of the UK’s songwriting talent, and it's evident that those voices need to be properly represented on the Council of our collecting society. 

“That this hasn’t happened is no reflection on the candidates, it's the result of an outmoded and outdated system of governance at PRS, which is in clear need of root and branch reform to ensure the value of people of colour to songwriting and publishing is not just acknowledged but properly represented.”

The statement continued: "Added to this, it's extremely disheartening to hear today's confirmation of funding cuts to the PRS Foundation's budget. We'd urge PRS to rethink this decision, and to consider redistributing unallocated ‘black box’ royalties in order to support emerging and grassroots talent." 

Composer and broadcaster Hannah Peel has been newly elected as a Writer Council Member. Chair of the Ivors Academy, Tom GrayCrispin Hunt and composer & songwriter Philip Pope have been re-elected as Writer Council Members.

Newly elected Publisher Council members are: Nigel Gilroy, global head of legal & business affairs at Novello and Company (part of Wise Music Group); Daniel Lang, VP international digital licensing & society relations at Warner Chappell Music; John Minch, president for Europe at Concord; and Richard Paine, director of commercial rights and business affairs at Faber Music.

PRS for Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin said: “My congratulations to the newly elected and re-elected Council Members. I very much look forward to working with you all. You bring a breadth of vision, diversity of skill sets and an understanding of the digital eco-system from which the organisation and the members will greatly benefit.  

“Over the last two years PRS has embraced solutions and strived to innovate with our growth mindset that I set out at last year's AGM. Alongside our commitment to significantly increase the royalties paid, reduce our costs to income ratio, and innovate in our system and partnerships. Our new vision redefined our determination to provide the best possible service and overall support to members. 

“I have always been clear we must be ‘brilliant at the basics’. This means ensuring we have the right infrastructure and people to deliver our core functions, supporting members, maximising the value of the rights entrusted to us and making accurate and timely distributions. We cannot innovate and collaborate if we are not first meeting members’ needs and expectations. 

Martin paid tribute to Nigel Elderton, who is stepping down as chair and a director of PRS. 

“Nigel is a true leader in our industry and without him PRS would never have evolved and grown into the world leading CMO it is today,” said Martin.

Click here to read Andrea Martin’s AGM speech.


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