ASCAP is celebrating a record-breaking year in revenues for 2016, taking in $1.059 billion for the year and distributing more than $918 million of that to its songwriter, composer, and publisher members. That number is up 5.6 percent over 2015, and revenues from the publishing rights organization’s licensing efforts in the U.S. alone increased nearly six percent in 2016 to $759 million, fueled primarily by a 41 percent increase in revenues from streaming along with higher revenues from satellite radio and general licensees like bars, clubs, restaurants, and hotels.
The company’s foreign revenues of $300 million were up as well, and domestic distributions of $631 million from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances in the U.S. grew nearly ten percent, up $55.5 million over 2015.
The rights organization operates as a non-profit and delivers about 88 cents of every dollar collected back to members for performances of their music. ASCAP’s strategic investments to grow general licensing revenues has yielded a 7.2 percent annual growth rate over the past four years. ASCAP licensed over 18,000 new businesses in 2016 and also instituted a number of innovations in licensing, such as greater automation in reporting to create efficiencies that reduced the cost of new license acquisitions over the last three years by 50 percent.
“ASCAP’s record high revenues and distributions in 2016 are a testament to the amazing repertory of music we are privileged to represent, and to our investment in innovations that enable us to continue to grow revenues, leverage our scale and increase efficiencies in our operations,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews. “ASCAP is committed to transforming and innovating to secure a healthy future for music creators and publishers. In 2016 alone, we processed over one trillion performances, welcomed 40,000 new members, and secured a steady stream of future royalties for our members by closing multi-year deals across all major platforms, including satellite and terrestrial radio.”
“ASCAP’s strong financial results matter for each and every songwriter, composer and music publisher who makes a living from our creative work, from those just starting out to those whose music is beloved around the world,” added ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams. I am also incredibly proud that ASCAP continues to lead the fight for much-needed changes to U.S. music licensing regulations that are grossly unfair to songwriters and copyright owners.”
ASCAP songwriters wrote or co-wrote nine of the top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 year-end chart, and wrote 14 of Billboard’s year-end chart-topping songs. Among those artists renewing their agreements with ASCAP this year were Kelly Clarkson, Max Martin, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Skrillex, Timbaland, Hans Zimmer, the estate of Johnny Marks, (writer of Christmas classics like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas”), Beach Boy Mike Love, Latin superstars Carlos Vives and Fonseca, Adnan “Menace” Khan (producer/co-writer of Desiigner’s #1 song “Panda”), Nashville star Clare Bowen, and Karey Kirkpatrick (co-creator of the Broadway smash Something Rotten!).
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