Geoff Taylor, the chief executive officer of record label trade body the BPI, who also oversees the BRIT Awards and the Mercury Prize, has announced his intention to move on in 2023. After 25 years working for label associations – with more than 15 of those at the helm of the BPI - Geoff plans to move to a more directly commercial role.
Over his tenure, Geoff has helped the music industry navigate significant changes, through the rise of digitisation and new formats, from CDs to P2P and later from downloads to streaming. More recently, he has helped guide the industry through the twin challenges of Brexit and the pandemic.
A former general counsel at global trade body IFPI, Geoff helped secure industry and UK government support for the extension of copyright term. He also led the BPI’s strategy to reduce online music piracy, including blocking access to illegal P2P and stream ripping sites, negotiating policy changes with search engines, social media platforms and advertising networks to demote illegal sites, and instigating the BPI’s search delisting programme. The music piracy rate in the UK is now the third lowest in the world.
Pursuing the BPI’s mission to promote British music, Geoff oversaw the BRIT Awards’ move to the O2 and its long-term strategy to extend digital engagement, global reach and revenues - raising more than £15 million for industry charity The BRIT Trust in the process. He steered the BPI’s 2015 acquisition of the prestigious Mercury Prize and, seeing the potential for the global growth of British music, championed the creation of the Music Exports Growth Scheme (MEGS). Run by the BPI, the scheme has awarded more than £4 million in grants to UK independent labels and artists, supporting UK music exports, which have doubled since 2011 to almost £600 million.
Since 2007, Geoff has played a key role in overseeing the industry’s relationship with government and with other industry bodies and commercial partners. He is now leading industry engagement with DfE to establish a new BRIT School in the North, after years as a governor for the BRIT School and the East London Academy of Music. He led the creation of the BRITs Apprentice Scheme in 2017, providing funded apprenticeship opportunities across the music industry to young people from diverse backgrounds.
Geoff Taylor says of his planned departure: ‘It has been a great privilege to lead the BPI during such a transformational period for British music. With a new Chair appointed and our 50th anniversary next year, it feels like BPI is opening a new chapter. After much reflection, I have decided that running the BPI for 15 years is enough for any moderately sane individual and that now is the time to use my experience more directly in a commercial environment. I have agreed to stay on until early 2023 to help our new Chair YolanDa Brown find an appropriate successor.
‘I want to thank the brilliant team at the BPI, former Chair Ged Doherty, and our independent and major members for their wisdom, good humour and steadfast support. I wish YolanDa and all the members continuing success.’
YolanDa Brown, new Chair of BPI, adds: ‘Geoff will forever be part of the BPI family. He will leave a tremendous legacy with many exceptional achievements and a strong team in place. I am grateful that he is staying with us to ensure a smooth transition and wish him all the best on his onward journey. I know we will enjoy our time working to ensure the future success of the BPI.’