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Client Story

PRS for Music

Creating a flexible and deliverable IT strategy

An IT strategy fit for the future 

PRS for Music collects licence fees and pays royalties to composers, authors, and publishers when their musical works are recorded, broadcast or performed publicly. PRS – and the music industry in general - was facing a period of enormous change.

With customers beginning to consume music in very different ways, PRS needed to understand the likely future business scenarios for their industry. And it had to work out what impact these wider market changes might have on the organisation's own internal structure, ways of working and processes. 

We helped PRS by defining and providing them with a flexible and deliverable IT strategy.

A dynamic business context 

Over recent years, the shape of the music industry has changed almost completely, as consumers move away from traditional methods of consuming music, such as listening to CDs, towards downloading and streaming instead. 

The need for change 

These trends were having a profound effect on the organisations which support the industry, including our client, PRS. Digital TV and radio channels and the growth in digital music downloads were generating massive increases in the transaction volumes they were having to process. Recording-industry margins were reducing significantly, and as a consequence, the PRS was coming under pressure from its membership to reduce costs.

Furthermore, EU legislation had introduced the ability for societies to offer pan-European licences, giving members the opportunity to “shop around” for the best deals. 

Berkeley's no-nonsense approach brought clarity to some of our most complex business strategy challenges. Their advice was always considered, frank, constructive and informed by their experience, and has helped ensure that our strategy can be implemented rather than sit on a shelf." 

Executive Director for IT, PRS for Music

Planning the future 

Amidst all this uncertainty and change, the IS department needed to plan ahead and develop a business-driven IS strategy.

Identifying the challenges 

During a three month project, Berkeley worked closely with the PRS management team to develop this strategy. Through a series of workshops and interviews, a number of future business scenarios were developed and analysed to focus in on the most likely future business drivers for PRS. 

Establishing the needs 

These workshops helped to determine high-level business requirements and establish the functional footprint that IS needed to support. 

Working collaboratively 

Berkeley worked alongside technology specialists from DMW Group to turn these requirements into a target IS application portfolio and technical architecture recommendations, and to develop a flexible business case and implementation roadmap. 

A prioritised plan, minimising risk 

This has given PRS a costed and prioritised series of projects that can now be progressed in a sequence which maximises business benefit and minimises delivery risk. 

Seeing it through 

As the first phase of the implementation of this roadmap, PRS embarked on an exciting Joint Venture with STIM, their Swedish counterparts, to establish and run a back-office shared service centre for Copyright data management.

Working with PRS was a fascinating and exciting experience. The project team was able to combine the PRS' extensive knowledge of an industry experiencing enormously wide-ranging and rapid change with Berkeley's experience of shaping and leading large strategy and change projects. I'm sure the resulting strategy will help secure their position at the forefront of collecting societies in Europe.”

Dave Machin, Partner