Confirmed: Google/Spotify Funded MMF is Trying to Replace Performers On PPL Board with Former Record Exec

Earlier this week we reported that it appeared that  UK Music Managers Forum was trying to replace Crispin Hunt and Mark Kelly as the performer representatives on the board of  UK PPL with former record executive and MMF CEO Jon Webster.  We now have the confirmation email:

From: Fiona McGugan <>
Date: November 13, 2015 at 4:40:13 PM EST
Subject: ICYMI 62

Dear US Managers,

Jon is in Japan this week, so perhaps apt for me to let you know that he has confirmed that he will be stepping down as CEO of the MMF in January. But he will not be resting as he is running for a seat on the PPL board and concentrating on Performers’ Rights as they come under threat with the developments in digital licensing: He will continue working with us on this and other issues.

A look at superfans in the streaming environment: Artist ownership of data will be an issue in the future….

Have a great weekend,

Yes indeed, performer’s rights are under threat.  As usual they are under threat by managers.  And under threat in exactly the same way they always are. While pretending to look out for artists the managers are secretly taking payments under the table from the companies (Spotify/YouTube) that are sending tiny royalty checks to performers.   Its like the 1970s music manager business just with less cocaine. (Ed Note-Probably,you can never really be sure with managers.)

But at least this time you can do something about it.  You get to vote. That’s right if you are a UK performer and you have received a check from PPL in the last couple of years you can vote.  And you should vote for actual performers,  like say Crispin Hunt and Mark Kelly.  Not MMF CEO and former major label record executive Jon Webster.  Here are the instructions from our UK friends:

Online voting opened yesterday as planned, and will run until 5pm on 20 November. Electoral Reform Services (ERS) has sent details of the online voting process to all of this year’s Eligible Performers (i.e. those performers registered with PPL who have received a payment from PPL in 2013 and/or 2014). Most of these communications went out by email, but some went by post (where the performer has not currently provided PPL with a valid email address).

Those communications from ERS communications provide the performer with a link to the secure online voting website, and set out the security information they will need in order to be able to log in and cast their votes, so all performers need to do is follow the instructions in those communications. As there are two positions being elected, each Eligible Performer can cast two votes (i.e. one for each of their preferred two candidates – it is not possible for them to cast both their votes for the same candidate).

When they log into the online voting website, performers are able to review the candidates’ election statements before casting their votes. (Those statements are also available from the dedicated APM 2015 page on the PPL website: (and via our news story announcing the candidates in the Press section of our website)).

The ERS online voting process is very simple, and should only take a few minutes. Alternatively, those Eligible Performers who (for whatever reason) do not vote online during the online voting window can still vote at the APM itself (either in person or by proxy).

We will then combine the online votes with any votes cast at the APM itself, in order to be able to announce the final election results during the APM on 25 November.