Aug 31, 2023 2 min read

UK Music boss announces his departure

The boss of cross-sector trade group UK Music, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, has announced he is departing the organisation in order to take up a senior role with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

UK Music boss announces his departure

UK Music boss Jamie Njoku-Goodwin is standing down after three years at the cross-sector lobbying group. He joined the organisation back in October 2020 having previously been a special advisor within two UK government departments – initially culture and then health – and he is now returning to a government role working directly with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

He arrived at UK Music, of course, just as the industry was dealing with the mounting challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. That meant he had a role to play in securing government support for the music sector during the COVID lockdowns.

Commenting on Njoku-Goodwin’s stint at the organisation, UK Music Chair Tom Watson says: “Jamie joined UK Music when the sector was in the midst of a crisis due to impact of COVID. He swiftly played a key role in securing the vital support the industry needed to help get back on its feet”.

“He is a passionate advocate for our sector”, Watson adds, “and has worked tirelessly on behalf of UK Music and our members in our shared determination to grow our industry, create skilled jobs, boost music education and help make the music business an inclusive and welcoming place to work”.

UK Music is a trade body of trade bodies that seeks to provide a united voice for the music industry – or at least the music rights industry – bringing together organisations representing artists, musicians, songwriters, producers, managers, labels and publishers, as well as the collecting societies PRS and PPL.

“Over his three years Jamie has been a stellar success and I can fully understand why the Prime Minister would want him in a very senior Downing Street role.”

There used to also be a group within UK Music bringing together trade groups representing those on the live side of the industry, though during the pandemic that group spun off to create its own standalone organisation LIVE.

This means that – although UK Music does still seek support for the live sector within political circles – its real focus is on the rights side of the business, so it has been particularly vocal of late about the issues raised by artificial intelligence.

That said, it can only work on music rights issues where all the relevant strands of the industry are aligned. Another big music-centric political talking point in recent years, of course, has been the economics of streaming. However, in the main UK Music had to take a back seat role in that domain given a lot of the conversation was around music-makers seeking political support to force labels and publishers to change certain practices.

In his new job, Njoku-Goodwin will become Director Of Strategy for the Prime Minister. Which may or may not mainly involve directing an exit strategy. Though it will definitely involve interacting with people who are in theory on the same side but frequently disagree. So, you know, more of the same.

Watson continues: “Over his three years Jamie has been a stellar success and I can fully understand why the Prime Minister would want him in a very senior Downing Street role. I’m sure he will deploy his considerable skills for the country in the same way he has for the music industry”.

UK Music’s Deputy Chief Executive Tom Kiehl will become interim CEO while a replacement for Njoku-Goodwin is recruited.

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