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Will Page departs PRS For Music

By | Published on Friday 6 July 2012

PRS For Music

PRS For Music has confirmed that the society’s Chief Economist Will Page has left the organisation and is currently on gardening leave.

Page, a former economic analyst for the Scottish government, had been with the collecting society for six years, publishing regular reports on trends and developments across the music industry, usually by scrutinising all the data PRS aggregates from the recordings, publishing and live sectors.

As well as advising the society and its members direct, Page also became a regular speaker at music business events, where he had a knack for presenting dry economic data in a way music industry types could absorb.

It’s not currently clear where Page is heading next, though Music Week cites sources as saying he has a new role at a digital music service, and some reckon that will be Spotify.

It remains to be seen if PRS For Music directly replaces Page. The publishing industry’s collecting society has been quietly streamlining its sizable workforce of late, opting to not replace a number of departing staff members.

Although as a whole PRS has generally seen its revenues rise each year (with just one wobble in 2010), despite the tough economic climate and declining record sales, it was revealed at the recent AGM of the Music Publishers’ Association that the mechanical rights bit of the organisation – MCPS – technically still a separate body, is struggling, and made a loss in 2011.

MCPS, of course, relies heavily on the music publisher’s cut of record sales (it getting money when ‘mechanical copies’ of songs are made, rather than when songs are performed in public), so it’s unsurprising it is struggling, given the general slump in the sale of recorded music in the last ten years.

According to Billboard, MCPS chiefs hope that the body can achieve economies by forming alliances with other mechanical rights agencies around Europe, but it also seems likely that the PRS side of the organisation may be asked to pick up more of the running costs of the wider combined society.