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Speech of Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive PRS for Music 

26 May 2011

Thank you Guy, and good afternoon.

First of all, thank you all for coming to this year’s AGM – it’s good to see such a strong turnout. The management, staff and directors of the Performing Right Society all appreciate the time you take to be with us and for giving me the opportunity to bring you up to date on how we are “maximising your income, minimising costs and protecting your rights”, as our new chairman so eloquently put it.

And, on that note, I’d like to congratulate Guy Fletcher OBE on his appointment by the Board of Directors to the chairmanship of PRS. Distinguished songwriter, performer, publisher, founder member of British Music Rights, former chair of BASCA … Guy is a giant of the music industry and we are delighted to have him as chairman of the Performing Right Society.

Today I'm going to give you an update on our financial performance, describe some of the major developments affecting the business and tell you about some improvements we are making, particularly in the service we provide to members.

One of these developments is the Hargreaves Report, which will lead me into two of our key focus areas: licensing music on the Internet and achieving greater operating efficiency through partnerships. Then, given its importance as a potential source of future revenue growth, I'll touch on our third area of focus, which is International.

2010 was a tough year for the music industry, though it had begun strongly enough, with recorded media holding up well, at least partly due to Susan Boyle’s remarkable success with her album “I Dreamed a Dream”. The underlying trend though was down; there were fewer live tours scheduled and businesses across the country faced uncertain trading conditions. Added to this, we had a change of government, whose promised expenditure cuts inevitably had a negative impact on consumer spending.

We were nonetheless able, thanks to the hard work and dedication of all our staff - in Berners Street, in Streatham, at our customer contact centre in Peterborough and on location across the UK - to hold the decline in royalty collections to only 1% of 2009’s record, with a total of £611.2m. This is the figure you will see in the 2010 Financial Review brochure you received on your way in and represents the combined results of PRS and MCPS.

Download the full speech

Download the Financial Review for 2010

Download the full PRS 2010 Report & Accounts

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 125,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to nearly 15m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn, PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £621.5m in 2016, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

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