Annual General Meeting 2011

A new Chairman, a new Writer Director and Priorities for 2011

The Annual General Meeting of the Performing Right Society took place on Thursday 26th May 2011 at the Millbank Media Centre in London. Hosted by new PRS for Music Chairman Guy Fletcher OBE, the AGM saw a range of writers and publishers gather to elect board members and approve the 2010 financial accounts.

Chief Executive Robert Ashcroft congratulated Guy Fletcher OBE on his recent appointment and described him as, “a giant of the music industry” adding the society was “delighted to have him as Chairman”. Ashcroft told the attendees that whilst 2010 had been a tough year for the music industry, PRS for Music had “held the decline in royalty collections to only 1% of 2009’s record, with a total of £611.2m collected”. Emphasising the increased efficiency at the organisation Ashcroft informed members that “with an administration rate of 10.4%, PRS for Music is one of the most efficient collecting societies in the world and we were able to pay out a total of £547.9m to members.”

Priorities for the coming year were outlined, including: a focus on digital music services, online licensing and the recent Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth, as well as the organisation’s strategy of partnerships with like-minded societies, thus reducing costs and improving services to members and licensees alike. A decade of growth in international royalties was celebrated and potential growth from emerging markets including China and India will be analysed as part of a wider international strategic review.

Read Robert Ashcroft’s full speech.

Chairman Guy Fletcher OBE encouraged the membership to find their “collective voice”, calling on them to “speak up about what PRS for Music stands for, to both our friends and our detractors.” He continued outlining his priority as chair to: “ensure that PRS for Music and what we represent, becomes better known to our customers, our own members, the wider industry, the general public and of course, those in government at all levels.”

A new writer director - acclaimed film score composer Molly Nyman - was elected to the PRS board; existing directors Antony Bebawi, David Bedford, Chris Butler, Jane Dyball, Andrew King, Sarah Levine and Ellis Rich were also re-elected.

Guest speaker was John Whittingdale MP OBE, Chairman of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee. Whittingdale praised the efforts of PRS for Music and the wider industry in their recent engagement with the Hargreaves Review and outlined the government’s view that the creative sector is vital to the future growth of the economy.