BMI Distributes More Than One Billion In Royalties For The First Time In Its History

BMI has broken another revenue record for the third consecutive year, generating $1.130 billion to end its 2017 fiscal year. The company also distributed and administered $1.023 billion to its songwriters, composers and publishers, representing a 10 percent increase over last year and a new milestone for the organization. The results rank the performing rights organization with the highest royalty distributions of any rights organization in the world.

“No matter how much the industry continues to evolve, BMI remains the leader in supporting songwriters, composers and publishers and maximizing their royalties across all platforms,” said Mike O’Neill, President and CEO, BMI. “We are thrilled to have been able to achieve these record distributions, but we still believe our affiliates deserve more.  We thank them for entrusting their music to us and will continue to work hard on their behalf to secure the full and fair value of their creative work.”

The company’s total domestic revenue, encompassing digital, media, and general licensing, came in at a record $836 million, a $52 million increase over last year. Digital revenue saw its highest performance to date, up seven percent to $163 million, helped in part by new long-term agreements with Netflix and Hulu, among others. Media Licensing came in at $524 million, a $32 million increase over last year driven by growth in the terrestrial radio, cable and satellite radio categories.

The $1.023 billion in total distributions included both domestic and international royalties, as well as royalties from direct deals that BMI administers on behalf of its publishers. Those deals, which account for approximately three percent of BMI’s total distribution, helped the company achieve its record payments to affiliates.

BMI processed nearly 1.4 trillion performances this year, 40 percent more than last year. This includes both audio and audiovisual performances, of which 1.35 trillion were digital, highlighting the ongoing move to digital within the industry as well as BMI’s ability to manage big data and convert it to actionable information.

BMI operates as a non-profit, returning approximately 88 percent of all revenue to the musical creators and copyright owners the company represents.


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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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