Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
I’m thrilled to kick off the summer season with great news – our success in the Pandora litigation is a promising step towards securing more equitable royalties for your music in the digital world.
After a nearly two-year legal battle with Pandora over the value of the BMI repertoire, the Rate Court ruled resoundingly in BMI’s favor. The court concluded that our proposed rate of 2.5% of revenue, which was almost 50% higher than the rate Pandora was after, was “reasonable, and indeed at the low end of the range of fees of recent licenses.” The decision also establishes that existing marketplace agreements can be taken into account when determining rates, a key factor for us, and the industry, in valuing music in today’s marketplace. As soon as the subsequent Pandora royalties become available for distribution, BMI, as always, will adhere to Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP), the standard used by financial institutions, to determine the best and most efficient way to handle payments to those of you who had performances on Pandora during the period in question.
On Capitol Hill, the Songwriter Equity Act is gaining momentum for music rights holders, with continuing bipartisan support from multiple members of the Senate and the House who have co-sponsored the bills. If passed, this legislation will update important provisions in the copyright law. For more information, please visit bmi.com/advocacy for all new developments that impact you and your music. We also urge you to contact your representatives and make your voice heard. We have provided Twitter handles for individual co-sponsors on bmi.com to make it easier for you to do so. Additionally, BMI continues to have productive conversations with the Department of Justice for the value of your music, and we will update you on developments as they happen.
As a reminder, BMI is no longer printing and sending detailed royalty statements through the mail. However, you can easily access your statement by activating your Online Services account that allows you to manage all of your BMI transactions in one place, which is safer, quicker and greener. We also encourage you to sign up for direct deposit, although if you have not done so BMI will continue to mail your royalty checks. To set up your Online Services account, go to http://bmi.com/paperless and complete the requested information. You may also call 615-401-5555 with questions regarding BMI’s paperless initiative. In addition, the quarterly deadline to submit your playlists for BMI Live payments is June 30.
On the awards front, I’d like to congratulate all of our Billboard Music Award and Billboard Latin Music Award winners, including those who took home multiple trophies: Taylor Swift, Sam Smith*, John Legend, Jason Aldean, Hozier, Santana, Wisin, the late Jenni Rivera, and Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga. In addition, kudos to all of our Ivor Novello winners from across the pond and to our new BMI President’s Award winner, P!nk, who was crowned at BMI’s recent Pop Awards, along with John Legend whose “All of Me” was named BMI Pop Song of the Year; Pop Songwriters of the Year Avicii, Benny Blanco, Ed Sheeran*, Taylor Swift and Noel Zancanella; and our Pop Publisher of the Year, SONY/ATV Music Publishing.
Congratulations also to all of our talented BMI Film/TV composers honored recently for their outstanding work that deeply enriches the visual experience, along with our newest BMI Icon, film composer Alexandre Desplat*, who sat down with us for an exclusive video interview on bmi.com that you won’t want to miss.
* Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran (PRS); Alexandre Desplat (SACEM)
Have a relaxing and rewarding summer!
President and Chief Executive Officer