ASCAP Marks First $1 Billion Payout To Members

In 2017, ASCAP reports it collected an estimated $1.144 billion in revenues, and for the first time, distributed more than $1 billion to is songwriter, composer and music publisher members.

The organization represents more than 660,000 members and reported that total ASCAP revenues increased eight percent, with distributions up 10 percent year-over-year. Revenues from ASCAP’s licensing efforts in the US alone grew nearly 11 percent in 2017 to $846 million, up $86.9 million over 2016.

Domestic distributions from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances in the US also increased, to $723 million, up 15 percent over 2016.

“ASCAP is securing a strong future for our members by successfully closing key licensing deals and launching innovative digital tools that will enhance the lives of our members and make it easier for licensees to do business with us,” ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said in a statement. “Our healthy 2017 financial results are proof positive that we are succeeding in our strategic transformation and our mission to support music creators and music publishers for a sustainable future in the digital economy.”

ASCAP President Paul Williams said: “I am gratified by the hard work that the ASCAP team does every day to make it possible for members of ASCAP to make their living as music creators. 2017 was a year of progress on so many fronts at ASCAP, including important deals that keep money flowing back to creators, technological investments that will keep us ahead of changes in the industry and momentum behind our efforts to reform our outdated music licensing system.”

More than 45,000 new members joined ASCAP in 2017, among them Dua Lipa, Carlos Vives, Maluma, Nana Rogues (Drake, “Passionfruit”), Jonas Jeberg (Fifth Harmony, “Sledgehammer” & Selena Gomez, “Fetish”) and Emily Warren (The Chainsmokers, “Don’t Let Me Down ft. Daya” & Dua Lipa, “New Rules”). Top ASCAP members renewing their agreements included Billy Joel, Cardi B, Coldplay, Meghan Trainor, Sam Hunt, Ariana Grande, Donald Fagen, Justin Bieber, Joss Favela, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Drew Taggart (of The Chainsmokers), Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Christopher Brody Brown, Starrah, Demi Lovato, French Montana, Lil Uzi Vert, Brett James, Henry Jackman and Heitor Pereira.

Music from ASCAP songwriters crowned 31 separate year-end song charts in 2017 and took all 10 of the Top 10 spots on the year-end Billboard Hot 100. Chart-topping members included Ashley Gorley, Drew Taggart, Daddy Yankee, Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Ray Charles McCullough & Jeremy Reeves (The Stereotypes), Frederic Kennett, Isaac Slade, Joe King, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle, Steve Mac (PRS), Justin Bieber, Poo Bear, Mattman & Robin (STIM), Kendrick Lamar, Mike Will Made-It, Lil Uzi Vert, Louis Bell and Quavo.

ASCAP noted that its operating expense ratio for 2017 was about 12 percent.

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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 [email protected]

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