How did you get into music publishing?
My father started working in music publishing when he set up Essex Music in 1955. My older brother was chosen to take over the business, which he did for a few years, but then decided to move to France. I was next in line.
I then started my own company, Bucks Music, alongside the family company in 1994.
What concerns do you have in your market?
The obvious concern is how to maintain the value of copyright in the digital world. Sorting out the good people from the bad is another. Exposing the “safe harbour” companies that build businesses on the back of our writer’s repertoire is an issue. As far as media music is concerned, I think the likes of Epidemic Sound and buy out libraries are a slippery slope to the bottom. I also think that we need a strong voice for the independent publishing sector.
What’s a typical day like for you?
There isn’t a typical day. I am on various boards so have numerous external meetings. Currently, we are in the process of moving and are looking at creating our new writing and listening suites. As an independent publisher, you are involved in all aspects of the business - from A&R, copyright, royalties to light bulb changing!
How is your relationship with your local collecting society?
It’s very good. PRS & MCPS are commercially minded and transparent. They are also forward thinking and responsive.
How do you see your market evolving over the next ten years?
I suspect there is going to be further consolidation of collection societies. Territorial boundaries will become less relevant. The value gap between well and lesser-known tracks will widen.
Synch will be key for sub-publishing.