Dear Songwriters, Composers and Publishers,
We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that 2014 is off to a great start for you.
We’re pleased to announce that as a result of new licensing agreements negotiated in 2013, this distribution includes our second Netflix retroactive payments, covering 2011 through 2012, and the first Hulu retroactive payments, covering 2008 through 2010. Also included this quarter are retroactive payments for BBC America, covering fourth quarter 2006 through second quarter 2012, as well as two quarters of YouTube payments. For TV Local performances beginning January 1, 2014, royalty payments will be processed using rules similar to how Cable and Network TV are calculated. This includes utilizing Nielsen data to incorporate audience size into the calculation. Please see the website for full description.
As we ended 2013 and moved into 2014, you may have read news coverage of a ruling in federal court regarding BMI and Pandora. You’ll recall that some of our affiliated publishers wished to withdraw the right to license their/your works for certain digital uses, reserving that area of music licensing to themselves. However, in late December, the judge presiding over the case held that our consent decree specifies that a work/song is either available for BMI to license to all customers (i.e. BMI cannot exclude a category such as digital) or that work/song is completely withdrawn from BMI, and, therefore, BMI may not license it to any entity at all.
The consequences of this holding are still being assessed by the entire music industry – not just by BMI, but also music users, publishers, composers and songwriters. BMI has already begun discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., seeking to defend and expand your rights as music creators. We hope to call upon many of you to lend support in these critical endeavors and will be sure to keep you updated as this very fluid, fast-evolving situation develops. Please be sure to follow any updates on bmi.com.
On the awards front, we’d like to congratulate all the winners recently honored at our annual BMI shows. In October, John Lydon was named a BMI Icon at the BMI London Awards and in November, Dean Dillon was awarded the BMI Icon at our Country Awards. Congratulations also go out to Rodney Clawson on winning the Country Songwriter of the Year, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Nashville, who took the trophy for Publisher of the Year and to songwriters Hunter Hayes and Troy Verges, who won Country Song of the Year for “Wanted.” We are pleased to announce that BMI songwriters garnered 90% of the 2013 CMA Awards, with multiple wins by Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Florida Georgia Line and Taylor Swift. We also applaud and congratulate Hall & Oates, Nirvana, Peter Gabriel and Linda Ronstadt for their upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April.
Additionally, we’d like to acknowledge BMI’s many GRAMMY nominees, with special shout-outs to Taylor Swift, Daft Punk and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, all of whom are up for the prestigious Album of the Year award. Please take a look at our Year in Review video on bmi.com, which reflects many of the stellar accomplishments of our outstanding songwriters, composers and publishers throughout 2013.
As a reminder, in order to utilize BMI’s comprehensive online services, which include account management and access to important royalty and tax documents, it is important that BMI has all of your updated information – especially your current email address. As mentioned previously, BMI anticipates transitioning to paperless statements later in the year, so it will become imperative for you to provide this information in order to keep your account current and distributions timely. After updating your information, please also note the refreshed bmi.com site, with the inclusion of our new Indie page, BMI TV and BMI en Español, with more enhancements planned for the future.
As always, we appreciate the opportunity to represent your music and advocate for all music rights. Here’s to continued success in 2014!
Chief Executive Officer