The MPG is funded solely through membership subscriptions, these include: Full membership, associate membership, and studio membership. The MPG Awards is a separate entity and therefore has its own section in this report – please see below.
Revenue into the MPG has increased, in line with membership (see below). The board has established and maintained its efficient practices, which have resulted in significant cash reserves. Our main monthly expenses are PR & Socials, Book-keeping, software subscriptions, and Admin.
Although the MPG Awards are a separate entity, there are occasions where the MPG has provided loans to help aid their cash flow, and these date back as far as 2014. With the awards now on a sound financial footing, with an expectation of growth, this money can now begin to be paid back over the next few years. It will be up to the new board to decide on a workable payment plan.
First of all, we’d all like to thank Tony Platt, the outgoing MD, for his dedicated work on the awards since its inception. His last cycle was the 2021 Awards during the COVID Pandemic and managed to help keep the show on the road despite difficult circumstances.
The MPG Awards 2022 was our first in-person awards since the pandemic outbreak. We used this as an opportunity to give it a shake-up, so it could become financially self-reliant and, most importantly, profitable.
Of necessity, this year saw a lot of change within the organisation of the awards. The board took over the running of the awards whilst a new MD was found and changed events management contractors at relatively short notice due to issues with the previous events manager. Oli Bartlett and the Full Fat 360 team were brought in to organise the event. They worked closely with the board to give the MPG Awards a fresh look and feel, helping encapsulate what the MPG family stands for. Working closely with Full Fat, the team managed to streamline the costs considerably – the most considerable saving was the venue change, for the first time, this resulted in the MPG Awards having a significant cash reserve at the end of this awards cycle.
Coverage of the 2022 awards cycle was the most successful so far. Engagement on socials gained 66 pieces of user generated content, reached over 500 new followers on the MPG instagram account, 17 news articles and engaged 1400+ accounts on YouTube from working with Liina Turtonen to create a vlog of the awards show. Winners were featured in The Guardian, Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, BBC 6Music, BBC News, Music Week, Sound on Sound, countless BBC regional stations, regional press.
Since the last AGM membership has seen 71% increase and our demographic changing with women making up 17% of membership, up from 5% in 2016 and from 12% at the last AGM in 2020.
Our black and ethnic minority members’ account for 8% of membership, with 21% remaining unclassified.
Diversifying our membership must remain a priority. In order to achieve this, we have partnered with organisations such as Punch (a music and arts agency working in Black Music) and #TheWrd (an educational programme aimed at young people from disadvantaged backgrounds), by providing complimentary memberships to young producers and engineers on their development programs.
We have seen a number of new additions to the benefactors’ scheme: The Qube, Hit Send & Spitfire Audio (an enhancement of the previous benefit) and Veva Connects, Shout4, Avid Carbon, Kazbar Systems consultancy & Sound Particles.
Politics & Lobbying
The MPG has been working closely with UK Music and other music organisations within that umbrella to fight for the interests of producers, engineers, and studios.
Metadata and credits have never been far from the surface at the MPG, from our work with DDEX to define a standard so that data can flow from conception to consumer in a format readable by all parties along the way, to ongoing work with the IPO to make sure that actually happens and make sure there is no bias in the availability of metadata that would provide the consumer with less choice. We continue to work with Sound Credit, Session and VevaCollect to provide solutions to the production end of the chain and advise on getting that into aggregators and labels and ultimately to the consumer via streaming services etc.
All along the way we have been working closely with the Recording Academy in the US and initiatives like Credits Due to make sure this is a universal fix for the industry.
The current situation with energy is crippling for recording studios. After working closely with UK Music and our members, we succeeded in raising awareness with coverage across a number of news outlets. As a result, we were able to feed our research into DCMS & BEIS, which helped develop the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
Misogyny in Music
The Women and Equalities Committee are holding an inquiry into Misogyny in Music and the MPG submitted a 20-page report to the enquiry, based on an extensive survey with over 400 participants. The results of this research have raised some extremely serious issues about discrimination in music production and the MPG board are working with lawyers to try and address these both in relation to our membership and with the wider industry and will be updating members in due course. The team continue to be supportive of the creation of an independent standards authority led by Creative UK, and have also collated a list of external resources to support members affected by these issues.
The MPG also worked behind the scenes to encourage gearspace to change their name amidst public outcry.
Self-employed rights and support
The MPG through UK Music continue to lobby for increased rights and support for self-employed people – particularly as the work on general election manifestos begins. Key demands are paternity, shared parental and adoption leave as well as sick pay for the self-employed.
Collectively with UK Music, we have been working hard to lobby the Government to get a fiscal incentive scheme, similar to that of the film industry, in a bid to increase music production to the UK. The MPG, however, has been very vocal that the benefit of such a scheme must remain focused on creator level rather than the multinational record labels.
Events since the last AGM have been a little difficult, due to COVID restrictions for most of 2021. So, during that period we kept on with our online events, as soon as restrictions were lifted, we went straight back to in person.
Look out for a full calendar of events taking us to the end of the year with events with MMF, Ivors, Audio Developers Conference and Punch record in Birmingham and of course the MPG Christmas party.
• Instagram AMAs
• You Deserve Credit: Conversations About Credit & Music with VevaCollect
• XPO North – KnowYourWorth Panel
• MPG Studio Members – Dolby Atmos Events
• Metropolis Film night
• Session – Credits Panel
• Dispelling the Myths for Producers with IAFAR
• Metropolis Studios meets the MPG
• Tapenotes Live podcast with David Wrench & Rosa Walton
• 2021 Christmas Party
Board Activity Reports 2020-2022
Organised Metropolis Atmos event
Spoke with Veva Collect about MPG Benefactor deal
Meet with Sara Mitchell PPL
Attended the Ivor’s
Attended the PPL Performer Board
Help member challenge Grammy’s rules around Global
Setup Sound Particles as Benefactor
Activity Report – September 2021 – Katie Tavini
Away – Nothing to report
Activity Report – September 2021 – Olga FitzRoy
Met with PPL to discuss 10 point plan progress
Attended Labour conference including UK Music event – caught up with various MP’s.
Some banking admin
Activity Report September 2021- Rhiannon Mair
Nothing to report
Activity Report Setpember 2021 – Matt Taylor
Nothing to report
Activity Report August 2021 – Cameron Craig
Attended DDEX Studio WG Call Discussed the implementation of RIN 2.0
Spoke with Fab Dupont to see if his new platform could be a MPG Benefactor
Setup Kazbar as an MPG Benefactor
Spoke with UK Music about the Measuring Music report
Spoke with Hedd Audio for possible MPG Benefactor
Spoke with Maureen Droney (Producers/Engineers Wing) re Atmos issue, Credits, DDEX
Introduced Sonic Data to DDEX Secretariat
Activity Report August 2021 – Matt Taylor
Nothing to report
Activity Report August 2021 – Rhiannon Mair
Nothing to report
Activity Report July – Olga FitzRoy
Wrote to members re diversity taskforce reps and set up MPG Diversity forum
Introductory call with new taskforce reps
Attended extended UK Music board meeting with Secretary Of State for Culture, Oliver Dowden MP
Call with DCMS on reopening
Call with Studios, AIRRS, MU and musician contractors on reopening
Rewrote professional music production guidance for post-July 19th reopening
Call with UK Music on harassment & bullying next steps
Call with Andy @ UK Music re Measuring Music research
Activity Report July – Katie Tavini
Ongoing social media
Wrote letter of recommendation to an MPG member
Activity Report July – Cameron Craig
Meet with MPG members to discuss concerns around Apples Spatial Audio, brought concerns to the Recording Academy whose members were having similar concerns. This is an ongoing discussion between the MPG. Recording Academy, Apple (US) & Dolby.
Meet with Dolby at their Atmos mixing room.
Meet with Metropolis to help with landlord issues and a tour of their Atmos room.
Along with MPG Full Member, Abe Brooks started organising Dolby Atmos events with Miloco, Dean Street, Metropolis, Dolby and Avid.
Attended UK Music Board
Attended PPL Performer Board Meeting
Spoke with Spitfire about extending their Benefactor involvement.
Spoke with ICMP to organised MPG/ICMP events involving MPG membership
Spoke with Sound Particles about becoming MPG Benefactor
Finalised Shout4 Benefit
Activity Report June – Olga FitzRoy
Attended panel event by 11FM Law firm discussing workplace sexual harassment to help inform how to deal with this in the music industry
Attended UK Music call to discuss sexual harassment in music industry
Organised panellists for XpoNorth panel
Set up virtual trade stand at XpoNorth
Edited Know Your Worth Press release and MPG Awards Press release
Chaired call with orchestral studios, ABO, MU and contractors to discuss end of social distancing
Call with DCMS officials re new guidance / end of social distancing
Stakeholder call with DCMS / DfE on talent pipeline etc
Call with Help Musicians re Mental Health First Aid Training
Catch-up with new UK Music public affairs team and discussion of priorities for MPG – self-employed rights v important
Continued engagement with DCMS and membership on quarantine exemptions for artists / engineers / producers
Activity Report June – Matt Taylor
Edited Know Your Worth Press release and MPG Awards Press release
Chaired #KnowYourWorth panel at XPO North
Casework with members and their appeals for covid support
Compiled data from KNowYourWorth Survey
Activity Report June – Cameron Craig
Worked on Mission Statement & MPG Business plan with the other directors
Attended Studios June Reopening meeting
Had lunch with Tom Grey, Kevin Brennan MP, Alex Davies-Jones MP Olga FitzRoy & Michael Dugher
Spoke with Oli from UK Music about student membership and MAP partners. Introduced him to VevaCollect and Shout4 for them to organise events for MAP members.
Spoke with ICMP about scholarship moving forward and discussed other initiatives
Attended POWER UP Participant Session
Spoke with Des (Soga) PRS Foundation Power up Participant.
Attended IAFAR AGM 2021
Ongoing consultation with Shout4
Spoke with Pete from Miloco
Spoke with Alys from the Church
Attended Tileyard Connected: Creation and Innovation
Spoke with Liam from VevaCollect to organise an MPG Event and talk about VevaCollects Credits Are Cool campaign
Cameron (MPG) PhD research interview on Streaming for Power Up Participant
Organised the Avid Carbon loan deal for MPG Members
Meet with MPG members to discuss issues with Apple Spatial Audio
Spoke with Maureen Droney about issues with Apple Spatial Audio and informed the Advisory Committee. Ongoing discussion.
Activity Report June – Katie Tavini
Ongoing social media
MPG FB group
Activity Report May – Olga FitzRoy
Catch-up meeting with AIR & Abbey Road
Attended UK Music Board Meeting
Organised additional meeting for studio members & UK Music to feed into fiscal incentives scheme
Worked with MT to edit & test #KnowYourWorth survey
Provided quote for Susan Rogers press release
Attended meeting with Ivors Academy & PRS foundation about safe spaces in music
Interview with MU Magazine
Revised latest edition of Music Production guidance
Continued to liaise with DCMS officials over reopening guidance
Call with member re Grammy’s nomination rules
Emailed Scottish Govt Officials re Carlton Studios
MPG Activity Report May – Katie Tavini
Insta stories daily
Additional socials work
Set up & launched MPG FB group
Advised member on Apple Digital Providers
Created Linktree account for socials
Updated MPG website
MPG Activity Report May – Matt Talyor
Casework for members. Working on appeals on Council decision to reject funding applications for COVID support (restart grants, et al)
Creation and launch of #KnowYourWorth survey
MPG Activity Report May – Cameron Craig
MPG Activity Report April 21 – Katie Tavini
re-wrote some website text
Sharing members work on Instagram daily
Attended awareness days meeting chaired by Olga
MPG Activity Report April 21 – Matt Talyor
Sharing members work on Twitter weekly
Created the judging playlists for MPG Awards
Successfully appealed discretionary grant for MPG Member.
MPG Activity Report April 21 – Olga FitzRoy
Attended Diversity Taskforce and worked on UK Music response to government’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report
Attended meeting with Scottish Government in relation to business rates relief for studio member in Scotland & also Covid studio guidance in Scotland
Chaired meeting about awareness days and speaker fees with other trade orgs
Attended and admin’d MPG Awards virtual judging event
Provided handout for CIC / Local Government event on the importance of supporting studios
MPG Activity Report April 21 – Cameron Craig
UK Music Policy and Public Affairs Committee meeting on Private Copy levy, following a request from visual arts CMO DACS for UK Music to support a campaign to secure from the government a private copying levy it was decided we couldn’t support it.
Meet with Hannah re Website revamp.
Attended UK Music/Saffery Champness/Nordicity Fiscal Incentives Roundtable
UK Music Director Meeting for Chair 12 Month Review
Meet with Susan Rogers to discuss MPG Outstanding contribution award, thanks to Maureen Droney for the introduction.
Attended the 3-day DDEX 37th Plenary for an overview of the year gone and thoughts on the year ahead.
Meet Carlotta from Creative passport to discuss holding MPG/Creative passport event
Spoke with IAFAR board to discuss my availability as IAFAR board member.Attended meeting with UK Music, MPG & Scottish government in relation to business rates relief for studio member in Scotland.
Spoke with Apple Music about “Behind the Boards” access for MPG Members
Meet Shout4 for an update to the platform
Attended UK Music Governance Review Meeting
Attended MPG Judging Day and arranged playback of tracks unavailable on commercial services.
Organised a partnering event with VevaSound around credits.
MPG Activity Report April – Rhiannon Mair
Successfully moved the Guilds bank account from NatWest to Starling.
Sorted ongoing admin issues with awards account.
Spoke further with Mika Sellers about the MPGs writer-producer group. We have interest from several writer-producers wanting to start a discussion. Date pending.
MPG Activity Report March 21 – Olga FitzRoy –
Met with MPG Studio member Carlton Studios to discuss how we can further support them in seeking financial support from Glasgow City Council
Signposted studios to the different asymptomatic workplace testing schemes that are now available where people cannot work from home.
Arranged for board to hear presentation from UK Music Diversity Taskforce chairs
Continued to work on diverse judging panel for awards
Attended UK Music Campaigns meeting to share info on upcoming MPG campaigns & hear about UK Music and other members campaigns. Improvements to self-employed rights will be key ask for MPG in next parliamentary session.
MPG Activity Report March 21 – Cameron Craig
Attended UK Music Board Meeting
Meet with Jaxsta about setting up a MPG/Jaxsta service to fast track credit corrections for MPG members.
DDEX Working group meeting to final details of the structure of the RIN standard
Dealt with Awards issues
Meet with Shout4 to create a new contract benefit for MPG members.
Attended the PPL performer board
MPG/Carlton Studios meeting and help with Olga
Organised Music Insurance Brokers Low-cost home package MPG benefit
Attended UK Music Diversity Taskforce Presentation
MPG Activity Report March 21 – Katie Tavini
All MPG full members & studio members have been followed on Instagram
Daily sharing member releases and posts
MPG Activity Report February 21- Olga FitzRoy
Attended calls with AIRRS, Sound Diplomacy and DCMS officials re DCMS commissioned studios survey and gave detailed feedback on the survey.
Continued to push for clearer guidance for LA discretionary funds to include studios in eligibility criteria. Worked with UK Music and DCMS officials to get a statement from the culture minister on this. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2021-02-19.155281.h&s=speaker%… 55281.q0
MPG Awards Worked on new judging notes for 2021
Attended meeting with KT, CC & MT to finalise diverse judging list Press / PR
Catch up call with Dan Gumble of Audio Media Interview with What HiFi magazine about MPG role in Covid
MPG Activity Report February 21- Cameron Craig
Met with Sound Diplomacy and AIRRS to discuss their DCMS commissioned survey on the mapping of UK Studios. Although we and AIRRS are not completely happy with the way they are conducting the work we have come to the conclusion that the work is very much needed and we will support it as best we can.
Attended brainstorming session on setting up Music Export Office chaired by PRS Foundation. This is ongoing and will form a recommendation to the government on what such an office’s purpose will be.
DDEX Metadata Workflow Discussion:
Helped set up and attended a meeting of UK (MPG members) and US producers to discuss workflow issues when logging credits, this was used to inform the DDEX Studio working group of a change in direction around the RIN standard.
Attended the DDEX Studio WG to discuss the above.
Introduced Veva Sound to UK Music with the plan for them to do a series of education seminars on the importance of credits and metadata with UK Musics MAP network.
Meet with ICMP and The FaNaTiX who will now become the MPG/ICMP scholarship ambassadors to further the scholarship and take it to areas where the MPG has struggled.
Attended the meeting with the other UK Music directors to discuss the reworking of the UK Music Mission Statement.
Supplied Brits Producer Judging list, we were able to meet the diversity requirement 50/50 m/f & 18% non-white.
Meet with NoteTracks software developers to bring on as MPG Benefactors.
Meet with Gebre from SoundCredit/Soundways for an update on their ideas for the capture of credits.
Attended a UK Music group to formulate an IPO sponsored research project around the education of metadata collection and usage. Identify the shortage and shortfalls of skills around data in the music business.