Antony Bebawi, Tom Gray, Crispin Hunt and Philip Pope newly appointed to PRS Board
Appointments made by PRS members at the PRS Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 21 May
Renowned music creators Tom Gray, Crispin Hunt and Philip Pope have been newly appointed as Writer Directors of the Performing Right Society (PRS), alongside Barry Blue, Michelle Escoffery and Steve Levine, who have been reappointed to the Board. Antony Bebawi is appointed new Publisher Director and joins Jackie Alway, Simon Anderson, Chris Butler and Richard King, who are all reappointed. The appointments were made by PRS members at the PRS Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 21 May.
Antony Bebawi is Executive Vice President Digital and Society Relations International and UK at Sony/ATV, heading up a team that manages the company’s licensing arrangements with digital services. He also deals with collective rights management organisations, as well as regulatory and public policy matters. Previously, he has held positions including European General Counsel at EMI Music Publishing, and partner at leading London media and entertainment law firm Harbottle and Lewis LLP.
Tom Gray is best known as a founding member and leading writer of multi-award-winning band Gomez. With nearly 20 years of professional composition behind him, Tom scores for film, TV and advertising. A committed advocate for creators, he sits on the Songwriter Committee and Policy Working Group of The Ivors Academy (formerly known as BASCA) and is a Writer/Artist Advocate for the Featured Artists Coalition.
Crispin Hunt is a multi-platinum-selling songwriter and record producer, chair of The Ivors Academy and member of the UK Intellectual Property Office Advisory Panel. His writing credits include tracks with Jake Bugg, Rihanna, Florence and The Machine, Lana Del Ray, Ellie Goulding, Maverick Sabre, Newton Faulkner, Natalie Imbruglia, Bat For Lashes, JP Cooper, Rod Stewart and many others. He is former lead singer of 90s Brit-pop band Longpigs.
Philip Pope is an accomplished composer and songwriter with a diverse list of credits to his name. During his long and varied career, he has written music for film, television, radio and theatre, including Benidorm (ITV), Horizon: Antarctica (BBC), Deluge (C4), The HeeBee GeeBees, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (BBC Radio 4), and ITV’s Spitting Image, culminating in number one hit, The Chicken Song. He developed a long working partnership with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse and has written for Fry & Laurie, Lenny Henry, Ben Elton and Dame Edna Everage.
It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome new Directors Antony, Crispin, Philip and Tom to the Board. As an organisation that is governed by its members, for its members, it is wonderful to have them guiding PRS forward as we continue to build on its investments and successes. Their insights and experience in the music business will be invaluable to our mission.
In his keynote speech, PRS for Music Chief Executive, Robert Ashcroft, observed that by year-end it is anticipated that PRS will have increased its royalty revenue by over 80 percent over a 10-year period, and that during his tenure PRS has truly helped to shape the music industry landscape; from simplifying the licensing environment to contributing to the most significant change in copyright law in decades with the passage into law of the EU Copyright Directive. Robert also announced that PRS has achieved ISO 20000 certification across its operations and that the society’s knowledge transfer process has been cited by the International Standards Organisation as representing global best practice.
Further speeches were delivered by PRS Chairman Nigel Elderton, who reflected on his second year in the role, and Chief Financial Officer Steve Powell.
The AGM follows PRS for Music’s recent financial results announcement for 2018. PRS collected an all-time high of £746m on behalf of its members for the use of their musical works, an increase of £31.6m, up 4.4 percent on 2017. With 11.2 trillion performances of music reported to PRS last year, including streams, downloads, broadcasts and live concerts, the music licensing company distributed £603.6m to its members, representing the second largest distribution in PRS for Music’s history.
PRS for Music's latest Big Numbers infographic is available online now.
About PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the rights of over 155,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and around the world. On behalf of its members, it works to grow and protect the value of their rights and ensure that creators are paid transparently and efficiently whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2020, 22.4 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music, with £699m paid out in royalties to its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.
PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.