BMI claims ‘highest royalty distributions of any music rights org’ as it pays out $1.196bn to songwriters and publishers

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) has claimed the ‘highest royalty distributions of any music rights organization in the world’ following a record $1.196 billion distributed and administered to its songwriters and publishers in the year ending June 30, 2019.

The United States-based performance rights organization has also reported record revenues of $1.283bn for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, up 7% over the previous year.

The $1.196bn paid to songwriters, composers and publishers also represented a 7% – or $78m – increase over the prior year.

In May, BMI rival ASCAP reported that it had paid out $1.109bn in royalties to its songwriter, composer and publisher members in 2018.

ASCAP‘s total revenues for 2018 topped $1.227bn, an increase of 7% over 2017.

In BMI’s case, the $1.196 billion in total annual distributions (to end of June) includes domestic and international royalties, as well as royalties from direct deals that BMI administers on behalf of its publishers.

Distributions from direct deals grew $9m in FY 19 for a total of $62m, holding steady at 5% of BMI’s total distributions.

BMI’s total domestic revenue, encompassing digital, media and general licensing, topped out at $943m, a $63m, or 7%, increase.  The PRO says that growth was driven by a $47m increase in digital revenue, up 22% year-to-year for a total of $262 million.

“Our achievements are a direct result of the unrivaled creativity of the songwriters and composers we represent and the worldwide popularity of their music.”

Mike O’Neill, BMI (pictured main)

General licensing, which is generated from businesses like bars and restaurants, hotels and fitness centers, along with other income, also posted record results of $169m, an 8% gain year-to-year, representing 18% of BMI’s domestic revenue.

The company added approximately 16,500 new businesses to its growing portfolio in this sector.

Meanwhile,  revenue from cable and satellite sources generated the largest portion of BMI’s domestic revenue at 30%, while traditional radio and television accounted for 24% of the overall domestic total.

BMI’s international revenue also reached an all-time high of $340m, an increase of $21m, or 7% over the previous year.

In addition, BMI saw its affiliate membership surpass one million for the first time ever, with over 90,000 new songwriters, composers and publishers joining the organization this year.

Notable new signings included Lil Nas X, Kendrick Lamar, Brandi Carlile, Willie Colón, and Sarah Schachner, among others, while agreements were extended with Imagine Dragons, Eminem, Shakira, John Legend, Harry Gregson-Williams, Eric Church, P!nk, Rihanna, Ben Decter, J Balvin, Hozier, Halsey, Horacio Palencia, and many more.

BMI processed 2.19 trillion performances in FY ‘19, a 29% increase over last year. Of that total, 98% were digital performances, reinforcing the critical need for fair compensation for songwriters, whose musical contributions provide the very foundation of the streaming services’ businesses.

BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill, said: “BMI values the trust our affiliates place in us, and we are gratified to once again generate record revenues on their behalf.

“Our achievements are a direct result of the unrivaled creativity of the songwriters and composers we represent and the worldwide popularity of their music.

“We always strive to do better, and we will continue to work hard to champion the rights of our creators and protect the value of their copyrights.”Music Business Worldwide

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