Our History
  • 1881
  • 1920
  • 1940
  • 1950
  • 1960
  • 1970
  • 1981
  • 1990
  • 2000
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2018/19
  • 2019

The MPA is the UK music industry’s oldest trade body. The Association was established in 1881, initially by nine members, to protect against unlicensed copying of sheet music


Against a background of post-war economic turbulence comes the first broadcasting boom, the emergence of recorded music and launch of the BBC. MCPS (Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society) is created in 1924 to collect mechanical royalties from mass-produced discs.


The MPA agrees an “Anti Plugging Agreement” with the BBC, cracking down on illicit payments between music publishers and band leaders to prioritise the broadcast of ‘favoured’ works on radio.


The MPA helps promote several schemes to promote British music, including foundation of the British Joint Copyright Council (1951) and the Ivor Novello Awards (1956).


A boom era for British music. BBC Radio 1 launches, and full-length albums become increasingly popular. Working with the British Copyright Council, the MPA presses government to take action against pirate radio stations.


The MPA acquires full ownership of MCPS in 1976.


The era of Betamax Vs VHS, home taping and MTV – opening up new challenges and opportunities alike for the music business. The MPA publishes a Code of Fair Practice to offer guidelines on the photocopying of printed music, as well as a Catalogue of Printed Music on microfiche.


The MPA is instrumental in setting up British Music Rights (1996) alongside the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters, the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Right Society. The new umbrella body provides our sector with a single voice to communicate with politicians, media and industry, and is a direct precursor of UK Music.

The MPA continues to evolve in the digital age, launching pan-European mechanical licensing body IMPEL in 2010, and PMLL in 2013 to licence the copying of printed sheet music in schools.
2013 also saw the termination of the MCPS-PRS Alliance, and MCPS become an autonomous operation.



As of 1st July 2015, Jackie Alway (VP International Legal and Industry Affairs, Universal Music Publishing) is named as the new chairwoman of the Music Publishers Association following elections by the MPA board. Jackie replaced outgoing chair Chris Butler, who had been in the role since 2008.



Under the stewardship of a single CEO, the MPA’s three businesses – IMPEL, MCPS & PMLL – officially come together as the MPA Group of Companies. In April 2016, MCPS publishers a landmark Request for Proposals [RfP] to administer operations for MCPS and IMPEL.

Jane Dyball becomes CEO of the MPA Group of Companies.


The Music Publishers Association launches its Student Membership. It accompanies the MPA’s current publisher and corporate associate membership categories and aims to provide greater opportunities for students wishing to pursue a career in music publishing, whether as an employee or entrepreneur.


The MPA Group of Companies says goodbye to IMPEL as it becomes a standalone entity to focus on its independent members’ interests.


After five years Jane Dyball steps down as CEO of the MPA Group. Paul Clements (formally  Executive Director of Membership, International & Licensing at PRS for Music) succeeded Jane on February 1st 2019.


Roberto Neri (Executive Vice President UK Downtown Music Publishing & Head of European Business Development for its parent company, Downtown Music Holdings, at Downtown Music UK Limited) was appointed the new Chair of the MPA. He was officially announced at the MPA AGM on Wednesday 3rd July 2019. He will take over from Jackie Alway who is stepping down after 4 years as Chair, she will remain a Board Director.

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