As we head into 2024, CMU recently sat down with many of the music industry’s trade organisations to talk about their work and the key challenges faced by their members. Today, Matt Taylor, one of the Executive Directors of the UK’s Music Producers Guild.
Explore the full series of interviews
What were some key projects for the MPG in 2023?
The MPG is a volunteer-led organisation, run by the membership, for the membership. We are just producers and engineers giving up our spare time to help make the industry we love a better place for everyone. But with that said, 2023 has been a stellar year for us, and there are a number of projects and campaigns to highlight.
In September, the MPG guest edited the Change Makers Edition of Sound On Sound magazine. We used the opportunity to highlight female and gender expansive producers and engineers who are behind some of the amazing records that make the soundtrack to our lives. 22 producers and engineers were involved and contributed in varying ways.
2023 was also a great year for member events, from our Mastering In Dolby Atmos Masterclass, to our very first three day Producer-Writer Camp. Our aim has been to provide members with new skills to advance their careers, while also fermenting the community spirit of our membership.
In addition to that, there was our Summer Party and Christmas Party, and of course our annual MPG Awards show. 2023 saw one of our most successful years at the MPG Awards with a sell-out ceremony at 8 Northumberland in Central London.
What have been priorities in terms of campaigning work?
2023 saw the issue of AI hit the top of the agenda. Given that music production has always sat at the intersection of technology and music creation, we have taken a prominent role in the discussions on how the industry should move forward in this new landscape.
We had regular meetings with the Intellectual Property Office and visited 10 Downing Street, and we worked collaboratively with the industry to create the five fundamentals for music AI.
The MPG's work on credits has been ongoing for over ten years, and 2023 finally saw some corners turned. We have been active participants at DDEX, who have created a metadata standard so credits can flow through the value chain unhindered, and we have worked with the IPO to make sure that it happens.
We also published an open letter to Apple Music to keep up the pressure on making credits publicly available. In September, along with their new iOS update, Apple made credits publicly available on their streaming platform.
What are some key challenges in your part of the industry?
In the last year we've worked hard to raise the importance of recording studios in the music ecosystem, and the challenges they face. The main highlight of this work has been the ‘Here, There And Everywhere’ research undertaken by UK Music and which the MPG was heavily involved in.
We used this opportunity to create a crude map of recording studios across the regions of the UK - celebrating three studios smashing it in their local scenes in each region.
The outcome of our advocacy work this year has been the inclusion of recording studios in the new grass roots music funding scheme from Arts Council England. This is an incredible win for our sector, as recording studios have faced market challenges for decades, and finally policymakers and funding bodies are now beginning to recognise the need to invest to allow the sector to survive.