Performing rights organizations are experiencing a significant decrease in licensing income from radio stations. In January the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) agreement with ASCAP was approved by the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, resulting in radio stations paying lower licensing rates to the PRO. A similar agreement was reached with BMI earlier this month and is awaiting court approval.
The separate agreements with the PROs run through December 2016 and are retroactive to January 2010. Also covered in the agreements are licensing rates for new media, Internet websites, smart phones, wireless devices, and HD/Multicasting radio channels.
The ASCAP deal placed licensing fees at 1.7% of individual radio station revenue. The RMLC reports this is about a 30% decrease in cost for most stations. According to the RMLC, the changes appeared on ASCAP’s January 2012 billing statement. For 2012, ASCAP’s revenue will be about $80 million less than what was paid based on 2009 rates. More from ASCAP.
The RMLC is approaching SESAC differently because its licensing rates are not subject to scrutiny by a federal court.
The RMLC represents the commercial radio industry’s 10,000 terrestrial stations. It is structured as a 501(c)(6) non-profit Tennessee corporation based in Nashville. The RMLC’s staff consists of Executive Director William Velez, and Staff Accountant/Data Manager Rebekah Smith. More from the RMLC.