Peter Jenner (born 1943) is a British music manager and a record producer. Jenner, Andrew King and the original four members of Pink Floyd were partners in Blackhill Enterprises.
After gaining a first-class honours degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge, Jenner, at the age of 21, worked as lecturer at the London School of Economics. After four years at the LSE he left to manage the then up-and-coming band Pink Floyd. Jenner put on a number of free concerts in London’s Hyde Park which included the 1969 concert by The Rolling Stones.
Jenner has managed Pink Floyd, T Rex, Ian Dury, Roy Harper, The Clash, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, Robyn Hitchcock, Baaba Maal, Sarah Jane Morris, Denzil and Eddi Reader (Fairground Attraction). Jenner has also managed Billy Bragg for more than 15 years.
Pink Floyd, then an unknown band, began to receive paid bookings including at the Marquee Club in March 1966 where they were watched by Jenner. The band played mostly rhythm and blues songs, but Jenner was impressed with the strange acoustic effects that Barrett and Wright created during their performance. Jenner traced Waters and Mason to their flat, and with his business partner and friend Andrew King was subsequently invited to become their manager. Although the pair had little experience of the music industry, they shared an appreciation of music, as well as a childhood history. Using inherited money they set up Blackhill Enterprises and purchased new instruments for the band, as well as equipment which included a Selmer PA system. Under their guidance, Pink Floyd began performing on London’s underground music scene, notably at a venue booked by the London Free School in Notting Hill, as well as the notorious “Games For May” concert at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 12 May 1967, an event set up by both Jenner and King. Jenner and King’s diverse array of social connections were meritorious, gaining the band important coverage in The Financial Times and The Sunday Times. Jenner’s voice can be heard at the start of Pink Floyd’s 1967 “Astronomy Domine”, the opening track on the album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
Jenner and King formed a partnership with Pink Floyd called Blackhill Enterprises. As the relationship between Syd Barrett and the other three members of Pink Floyd deteriorated, Jenner and King, believing Barrett to be the principal songwriter and the main creative force in the band, chose to continue to manage Barrett’s career, while permitting Waters, Mason, Wright, and new addition Gilmour, to continue to operate under the name Pink Floyd. Jenner and King parted company with Pink Floyd and continued as the managers of Barrett and other British rock bands.
After Blackhill Enterprises disintegrated in the early 1980s, Jenner and his wife Sumi set up Sincere Management which managed a range of artists including Billy Bragg, Eddi Reader, Sarah Jane Morris, Robyn Hitchcock, The Unbending Trees, Sid Griffin and Outside Royalty.
Jenner continues to work at Sincere Management and ceased to be an executive of the International Music Manager’s Forum in 2006 International Music Managers’ Forum, likewise a former director of the UK Music Managers’ Forum. Peter was involved in the Featured Artists Coalition many years ago.
In August 2010, he wrote for the Labour Uncut website, during the guest editorship of Tom Watson MP.
Jenner has been a regular commentator on copyright and the music industry. Amongst others he was interviewed on copyright by NetzpolitikTV and for the documentary Good Copy Bad Copy. An extensive interview with the Future of Music Coalition about copyright and technology is available as a podcast as part of the Coalition’s podcast series
Jenner has been critical of Digital Rights Management (DRM). He has argued that in response to Napster the music industry invested heavily in DRM. He argues that the music industry “persuaded themselves they could follow these files around and every time they were used a small amount of money would come magically to the companies. And then everything would be fantastic. But of course it did not work out that way because the public hates DRM as it stops them doing things they want to do in the digital domain.” Jenner has long argued that governments should impose blanket licences for music online to counter copyright infringement, with a fee being collected by internet service providers (ISPs). He reasoned that “If we can get £1 a month from every person in this island for music, that would give us £60 million a month,” which according to Jenner comes close to the revenues of the music industry in the UK.
More recently Jenner has been involved in efforts to build a music rights registry at European Union level, and has argued for an international music registry, supported by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). According to Jenner, “we don’t know who owns what and where” and this holds back the copyright licensing of music online. Jenner now wants to see a wide variety of online music services and business models being licensed, through a mixture of blanket licenses and individual licences. Jenner argues that copyright, and intellectual property more generally, is a system which ensures that people get paid. He argues that “Intellectual property is not something like a chair.”