Alexander Kassner newly appointed to PRS Board at virtual PRS 2020 AGM
Kassner is joined by re-appointed PRS Board Directors Roberto Neri, Jo Smith and John Truelove
Renowned legal and business affairs executive, Alexander Kassner, has been newly appointed as a Publisher Director of the Performing Right Society (PRS), alongside Roberto Neri and Jo Smith, who have been re-appointed to the Board as Publisher Directors, and John Truelove, who has been re-appointed as a Writer Director. The appointments were voted for by members at the PRS 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday 18 August.
Historic governance changes were also approved by members at this year’s AGM, with record numbers of PRS songwriter, composer and music publisher members engaging and participating in the event, either on the day or through the voting process.
I am delighted to welcome Alexander Kassner to the Board as a Publisher Director, and welcome back Roberto Neri, Jo Smith and John Truelove. Their combined knowledge and expertise across the music industry landscape will be indispensable to us an organisation run by its members, for its members, as we navigate a challenging few years ahead. Finally, congratulations to Andrea and the entire PRS team for a record 2019 and adapting seamlessly to a new way of working.
Nigel’s guidance has been invaluable over the past year and I am grateful for his support. I am pleased to welcome our new and returning PRS Board Directors and look forward to our newly approved governance changes allowing us to continue to be a world-leading Performance Rights Organisation (PRO) for the next decade and beyond.
New and re-elected PRS Board Directors:
Alexander Kassner has been responsible for business affairs at the Kassner Music group since 2009. A strong believer in the importance of an independent voice in the music publishing community, Alexander is Chairman of the MPA Pop Music Publishers Committee, has served as part of the MPA Public Affairs and Governance Committee and MPA Legal Issues and Anti-Piracy Group since 2016 and also joined the PRS Operational Working Group at the start of 2018.
Roberto Neri is the Executive Vice President and Head of Business Development for Europe at Downtown Music. In addition, he is also Chair of the MPA and sits on the Board of UK Music. Roberto joined Downtown in 2015 as part of the acquisition of Eagle-i Music, the music publishing company he founded in 2011. Prior to this, Roberto was Vice President of International at Bug Music and his music industry career started with PRS in 1999.
Jo Smith is the International Director of Society and Industry Affairs at Warner Chappell Music, having previously worked at Sony/ATV, EMI Music Publishing and as a lawyer for private and corporate music clients. With over two decades of experience in the music business, Jo has served on the Board of the PRS since 2017, alongside being a member of the Distribution and Licensing Committees at PRS.
John Truelove is a record producer, DJ, and music entrepreneur, founding his own companies including Truelove Music Publishing. A stalwart of the dance music community and PRS Board member since 2017, Truelove has long campaigned for the sector within both PRS and further afield with the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM).
In May it was announced that PRS collected a record £810.8m on behalf of its members in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 8.7% (£65.0m). With 18.8 trillion performances of music reported to PRS last year, including music streamed, downloaded, broadcast on TV and radio, played in business premises and played live around the globe, the music licensing company distributed and all-time high of £686m to its members, an increase of 13.7% on 2018.
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.