ASCAP Revenue Topped $1 Billion in 2015

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ASCAP reports that for the second year, its combined domestic and foreign revenue topped $1 billion, with total 2015 revenue of $1.014 billion.

Domestic revenue topped $716.8 million (a $61 million increase from 2014), with $867.4 million in total royalty distributions. ASCAP reports that it returned 88 cents of every dollar collected to music creators, with an operating expense ratio of 12.3 percent. ASCAP tracked, matched and processed 570 billion performances in 2015, an increase of 14 percent over 2014.

The PRO saw growth in several areas. General Licensing, which covers bars, restaurants, music venues, and similar businesses, garnered $11 million, with growth of 9.1 percent. In the Audio/Visual category, which covers broadcast and cable TV as well as top streaming services like Amazon and Netflix, ASCAP closed 68 agreements representing 245 programming services and their related websites.

Additionally, ASCAP created a new Global Services Team in 2015 to offer services to its music creator and publisher members as well as to its foreign PRO partners, which annually handled over 70,000 inquiries.

According to ASCAP, the company has more than 10 million song in its database, as well as a total of 560,000 songwriter, composer, and publisher members. Nearly 40,000 members joined in 2015, including Kelsea Ballerini and Fetty Wap.

Among the creators renewing their memberships are Ashley Gorley, Kevin Kadish, Meghan Trainor, Calvin Harris, and more.

ASCAP President Paul Williams said, “ASCAP is a tireless advocate for the rights of music creators who depend on ASCAP to earn a living, whether it’s on Capitol Hill or at the negotiating table, and we are truly invested in their success. ASCAP’s superlative results mean we are doing the best job possible for our songwriter and composer members even as we advocate for changes to the outdated music licensing laws that disadvantage songwriters in the today’s digital world. These results are a testament to why the world’s most talented songwriters choose to call ASCAP home.”

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said, “2015 was a winning year for ASCAP members, who are the heart and soul of our organization. While the music industry is in the midst of tremendous change, ASCAP has stayed ahead of the curve with a strategic focus on revenue growth, operational efficiencies, technology and service innovations demonstrating that the collective licensing model delivers the best value proposition in the performing rights world. We are happy that we could deliver a 6.2 percent increase in domestic royalties to our members in 2015, and we remain committed to transforming into the most progressive operation ensuring that songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers can enjoy a sustainable living in today’s music marketplace.”


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at

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