UK-based royalty collection and distribution organization PRS for Music has announced the appointment of Stevie Spring CBE as its new Chair.
Spring, a seasoned executive with extensive experience across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, succeeds Stephen Davidson, who has served three terms at the helm since 2014.
Spring brings years of leadership expertise to the PRS Board, having chaired the British Council until early 2023 and held board positions at organizations like the mental health charity Mind, the Co-operative Group, and pladis. With a 35-year career in the creative industries, Spring also had CEO stints at media giants Clear Channel and Future PLC, along with chairing BBC‘s Children in Need.
“I love working with creative people and I love music. Andrea’s [Czapary Martin] vision is progressive and ambitious. I’m very excited to be joining the PRS for Music Board at a time of such challenge and such opportunity,” Spring said.
“I love working with creative people and I love music. Andrea’s [Czapary Martin] vision is progressive and ambitious. I’m very excited to be joining the PRS for Music Board at a time of such challenge and such opportunity.”
Stevie Spring, PRS For Music
Commenting on Spring’s appointment, Andrea Czapary Martin, CEO of PRS for Music, said: “Stevie’s appointment is a reflection on our ambition to maximize the value of the rights we represent and deliver world-class services for members and customers.
“She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, with a career as CEO and Chair, that spans global companies, small start-ups and charities. As we enter our 110th year, I look forward to working closely with Stevie to shape the next chapter of PRS for Music.”
Martin also expressed gratitude to outgoing Chair Stephen Davidson, commending his guidance during his tenure, saying, “I am grateful to Stephen for his invaluable and studious advice, guiding us through some of the most precarious and prosperous years the music industry has faced. His support and counsel have helped to shape PRS for Music into the high-achieving global business it is today.”
“[Stevie Spring] brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, with a career as CEO and Chair, that spans global companies, small start-ups and charities. As we enter our 110th year, I look forward to working closely with Stevie to shape the next chapter of PRS for Music.
Andrea Czapary Martin, PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the interests of more than 165,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers on a global scale.
Spring’s appointment came as the collection society unveiled a set of “principles” for artificial intelligence (AI) in the music industry. Recognizing the growing influence and potential challenges of AI, PRS says it established these principles to ensure the technology’s responsible use and protect the rights and interests of creators.
“We believe AI must operate within a strong legal and regulatory framework which maximizes its benefits but protects against its possible harms, including to human creativity,” PRS for Music said.
PRS for Music’s four AI principles prioritize the protection of human creativity, ensuring that creators are paid and credited whenever and wherever their works are used.
The collection society also highlighted choice among its AI principles, underscoring that authorization “is the central pillar of copyright and must be protected.”
“Rightsholders should always have the right to decide whether their works are used, including by AI systems. Music is not data, it should not be mined for others’ benefit.”
PRS for Music is also pushing for transparency in the use of AI, promoting the clear labeling of AI-generated content.
The society also underscored the need for global cooperation, advocating for an enforceable regulatory framework that holds AI companies accountable.
In October 2023, PRS for Music said it achieved a record quarterly royalty distribution, reaching USD $288.7 million for the third quarter of the same year. The organization attributed this to the resurgence of live music touring and increased revenues from markets outside the UK.
The data revealed that PRS is surpassing expectations, with its cost-to-income ratio already declining to 9.3%, a milestone achieved three years ahead of schedule.
“When I came in, it was 13%,” Martin told MBW in an interview at the time.
In 2022, PRS for Music collected £964 million (USD $1.22 billion) and paid out £836.2 million in royalties to songwriters and publishers. The distributions represented a 23.5% increase from the previous year.
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