APM 2018 Preview: An overview of the Performer Board

At PPL’s Annual Performer Meeting (APM) on Tuesday 27 November, performers will have their next opportunity to elect directors to the PPL Performer Board.

Ahead of the APM, we would like to share with you more information about this year’s elections, along with a reminder of what the Performer Board is and how it came about.

Over the last 10 years or so the Performer Board has been very important to the good governance of PPL and the fair and transparent treatment of performers within PPL. Its history can be traced back to the period immediately after the transposition into UK law of the European Rental & Lending Directive, when PPL set up a Performer Forum which proved to be crucial in the run-up to the merger of AURA and PAMRA into PPL. In my experience no other joint rightsholder/performer CMO has such a committee which deals with and oversees all matters that relate to performers. It has been an honour to chair the Performer Board over the last two years and to work closely with the Performer Directors on all performer-related issues”.

John Smith, Chairman


The Performer Board is a specialist committee of the main PPL Board with specific responsibility for overseeing aspects of PPL's operations that relate to performers. This can include matters such as:

  • Distribution of the performers' share of PPL revenue
  • International collections
  • Data capture and database development 

There are eight Performer Board members, comprising six Performer Directors and two other directors from the main PPL Board. 

Previously, four of the Performer Directors have been elected by performers at the APM and the remaining two have been appointed by, respectively, Equity and the Musicians' Union (MU). However, that is changing this year, with all six Performer Director positions becoming elected positions (with a three-year term of office, meaning that each year two of the six positions come up for re-election).

This means that, as from the APM this November, the two positions appointed by Equity and the MU will no longer exist, and instead there will be an election at the APM to fill those two positions. You can read more about this below, and PPL will also publish further information about the election process nearer the time. 

The current Performer Board members are:

Elected Performer Directors

Roxanne de Bastion

Crispin Hunt

Mark Kelly

David Stopps

Performer Director (Equity)  

Christine Payne (Equity General Secretary)


Performer Director (MU)


Horace Trubridge (MU General Secretary)

Other PPL Board Directors  

Peter Leathem (PPL CEO)

Michael Smith (Sony Music)











The Performer Board also invites a representative from the music producer community to attend its meetings, in a non-voting capacity. That attendee is currently Steve Levine.

Performer Board meetings typically take place six times a year. All of the Performer Directors are directors of PPL and therefore also sit on the main PPL Board. 


Back in 1996, changes in the law updated and expanded performers’ rights. Importantly, for the first time, performers were given the legal right to receive equitable remuneration (effectively, a fair payment) when recordings of their performances were broadcast or played in public. 

Given PPL’s existing role in licensing those uses of recordings on behalf of record companies, PPL took on the responsibility of making those payments to performers. However, initially, two other organisations (unconnected to PPL) were formed to represent performers and collect their remuneration payments – whether from PPL or from other CMOs around the world. Those two organisations were AURA (for featured performers) and PAMRA (for non-featured performers). 

Over time, it became clear that it would be in the best interests of performers to streamline how these collections and payments were made, thereby making the service to performers more efficient and effective. In 2006, PAMRA and AURA were merged into PPL, meaning that PPL now represented PAMRA and AURA’s performers directly alongside those performers who had already chosen to register directly with PPL.

In order to ensure that performers would have fair and balanced representation as part of PPL’s governance and decision-making structure, PPL’s record company members voted overwhelmingly to pass a wide-reaching set of changes to PPL’s constitutional model. Those changes not only created the Performer Board (with delegated responsibility for performer-related matters) but also established the APM as an annual opportunity for performers to elect Performer Directors and receive reporting from PPL about its performer-related activities. 


Since its creation in 2006, the Performer Board has continued to evolve – growing from four Performer Directors originally, to six today. The next step in that journey is the election taking place at this November’s APM, to replace the two Performer Director positions previously appointed by Equity and the MU with elected Performer Directors. 

Under PPL’s constitutional rules, there are different criteria for different elected Performer Director positions. Two of the current elected positions can be filled by any (properly nominated) candidate, provided that they are not a minor and are not otherwise disqualified from being a company director, although they must provide evidence of suitability for office. Candidates for the other two current elected Performer Director positions must meet the additional requirement that those two directors must be representatives of, or associated predominantly with, featured performers (and can address this as part of their evidence of suitability for office). 

These criteria are there to help ensure a balance of knowledge and experience across the Performer Directors, who all (as company directors) have a duty to act in the best interests of PPL’s membership as a whole. With this in mind, the two elected positions this November (replacing the MU and Equity appointed seats) will be subject to the requirement that the candidates must be representatives of, or associated predominantly with, non-featured performers. 


The Performer Board is an important part of how PPL represents performers, and the Performer Director elections at the APM are an important opportunity for performers to help shape that Board. It’s up to you how much you wish to get involved. It doesn’t have to mean nominating a candidate, it can simply mean making use of your right to vote. 

For performers who are eligible to attend and vote at the APM, we will send out more information about this year’s meeting – including the election candidate nomination process – in October, so please watch out for this. Eligible performers will also subsequently be sent details of how to vote online in the APM elections. (If you are an eligible performer who has designated a representative to deal with PPL matters on your behalf, your APM communications may be sent to you via that representative, so please check with them accordingly.) 

You do not have to be a performer in order to be able to stand in the Performer Director elections, provided that you meet the applicable election criteria. All candidates do however need to have written nominations from at least 10 eligible performers. 

For these purposes, an “eligible” performer is a performer registered with PPL who has received any UK or international performer payment from PPL during either or both of the two previous financial years (so during 2016 and/or 2017, for the purposes of this year’s APM).  

If you are interested in potentially standing as an election candidate and would like more information, please get in touch by emailing apm@ppluk.com.