Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
I am pleased to announce that BMI reported record-breaking revenues and royalty distributions for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015. BMI generated total revenues of $1.013 billion, the highest in our history and the most public performance revenue generated for songwriters, composers and publishers by any music rights organization in the world. Notably, digital revenue exceeded $100 million, making BMI the first U.S. PRO to reach this important milestone. In addition, BMI distributed and administered $877 million in royalties, an all-time high. Unprecedented digital performances and our continued diversification of revenue streams contributed to these historic achievements, however, as always, our results are made possible by your phenomenal music whose popularity is unsurpassed in the global marketplace.
Building on this success, I am excited to introduce a new value system that BMI is implementing for the most-played songs on digital services. As we’ve done for decades with traditional radio, BMI is now recognizing the writers and publishers of the top-performed songs on streaming services via quarterly bonuses. More detail can be found in our Royalty Policy Manual. Spotify and Rhapsody are included in this distribution and we will continue to add services throughout the year. We are extremely proud to recognize the success of your music in this way, and will keep innovating to add value to the service we are privileged to provide for you.
Also included in this distribution is the yearly Sirius XM true-up for 2014, as well as royalties for use of your music on pay-per-view programming, sports leagues, theme parks and the annual National Cable and Television Association royalty payments. In addition, retroactive superstation payments are also included. We are also pleased to report that we have executed a new audiovisual licensing agreement with Amazon, including Amazon Prime Instant Video, for which we will be distributing payments, both retro and current, in early 2016.
This quarter, BMI continued to focus our efforts on advocating on your behalf to secure fair value for the use of your creative work. In July, BMI’s Rate Court judge rejected the digital giant’s motion to re-open his earlier ruling requiring Pandora to pay BMI public performance royalties at 2.5% of its revenue. This decision came despite Pandora’s argument that its purchase of a terrestrial radio station in South Dakota entitled it to pay the lower rate of 1.7% of revenue afforded to traditional radio. Pandora has filed its appeal of the decision and BMI is well prepared to defend this matter, which we expect will be heard by the Court of Appeals within the next 12 months. Please visit bmi.com regularly for additional developments on this front as they occur.
BMI also continued to actively engage with Congress for passage of the Songwriter Equity Act. This summer we welcomed Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, to our Nashville office to meet with several BMI songwriters, experience their music and hear about the challenges creators are facing in the digital age. BMI executives also discussed with Chairman Goodlatte the critical need for copyright law reform to level the playing field for songwriters. We plan to call on many more of you to share the stories behind your songs and underscore the need for music licensing reform. In the meantime, we have launched an online advocacy tool that can help your voice be heard in the fight for fair royalties. To find out how to take action, please visit bmi.com/advocacy.
In keeping with BMI’s initiative to “go green,” we encourage you to sign up for direct deposit, if you haven’t already done so, and, as a reminder, you can set up your Online Services account by visiting https://www.bmi.com/paperless. In addition, the quarterly deadline to submit your playlists for BMI Live payments is September 30.
Congratulations go out to our recent BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Award winners: Song of the Year recipient John Legend for “All of Me,” Songwriter and Producer of the Year DJ Mustard, Publisher of the Year Universal Music Publishing Group, and newly named BMI Icon Nile Rodgers. We look forward to celebrating our BMI London Award winners next month, and, in November, we will once again honor our country songwriters at the BMI Country Awards.
Thank you for continuing to entrust us with your music. I look forward to bringing you more updates in January.
President and Chief Executive Officer