New Radio Licensing Rates Lead to Lay-offs

The recently reached agreement between BMI and the Radio Music License Committee is negatively impacting BMI’s radio performance royalty revenue, and has resulted in the elimination of several positions. See an official statement from the organization below. In addition to the elimination of about a dozen positions, many employees were offered, and accepted, early retirement packages in recent months. The organization’s licensing team was the hardest hit.

Official statement from BMI:

A few months ago, BMI made an announcement to staff that the company had initiated a strategic program to restructure its workforce in an effort to generate greater efficiencies and to maintain strong royalty distributions to songwriters and music publishers by reducing costs. The program has several components including a voluntary early retirement plan and the elimination of certain positions by the end of the current fiscal year. Less than 12 positions were impacted by the reduction in force. This program is part of a multifaceted global initiative to ensure that BMI continues to offer relevant, cost effective, cutting edge services to its songwriters, music publishers and licensees in a rapidly evolving entertainment economy.

As previously reported, ASCAP also entered a new agreement with the RMLC, and has been similarly affected. In 2010, ASCAP reorganized its operations, as reported here.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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