SESAC, RMLC Arbitration Results In New Rates

Arbitration between SESAC and the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) has resulted in changes to the rate SESAC charges terrestrial radio stations represented by the RMLC, as well as how those fees are calculated.

The new SESAC license agreement will transition from the previous rate card method of determining fees, to a percentage of revenue license structure. The arbitration panel determined that SESAC’s blanket fee for the 2016-18 license period should be set at 0.2557 percent of radio station net advertising revenue. Fees paid to ASCAP and BMI are also determined by a percentage of revenue.

While the total sum paid to SESAC going forward is expected to decrease due to the change in calculation method, the organization says that this is a step in the right direction for all three PROs, because it indicates an increase in the value of music and could be a stepping stone for setting more favorable rates in the future.

Additionally, the SESAC license structure will transition from three separate agreements to a unitary license that will include coverage for over-the-air, HD multicasting and streaming.

This is for the period from Jan. 1, 2016 through Dec. 31, 2018. The decision is retroactive, meaning stations who overpaid will receive a credit.

Read the official press releases from SESAC and RMLC.


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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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