Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
On behalf of the entire BMI team, I hope you had a fantastic holiday season and that the New Year brings you creative prosperity. We’ve had a busy quarter working hard to protect and maximize your public performance income, and we look forward to continuing our efforts in the coming year.
To that end, I am excited to report that BMI recently entered into a new, multi-year licensing agreement with Pandora, comparable to other direct deals in the marketplace, that will result in improved royalty payments when your music is streamed. In connection with this agreement, Pandora has agreed to withdraw its appeal of BMI’s rate court victory, thus concluding our longstanding litigation. These two developments mark a significant step forward in modernizing your compensation in the digital space.
I would like to thank all of our affiliates who supported BMI’s recent legislative and Justice Department initiatives. Nearly 13,000 BMI songwriters, composers and publishers signed BMI’s letter to the U.S. Department of Justice opposing an interpretation of BMI’s consent decree that would require 100% licensing. To review the public comments submitted to the DOJ, visit www.justice.gov/atr/public-comments. Additionally, more than 2,400 BMI affiliates used BMI’s online advocacy tool to make their voices heard to their House Representatives and Senators in support of the Songwriter Equity Act of 2015/HR 1283/S 662. If passed, the SEA will provide much needed updates to the copyright law, making it vitally important that members of Congress hear from their constituents in their home states. If you have not already done so, please send a letter to your state representatives; it only takes a moment at www.bmi.com/advocacy. As always, we will continue to update you as further advocacy developments occur.
In this distribution, we are pleased to include first time royalty payments from several sources, including Xbox Music, covering the period 2012 through 2013; Amazon VOD, for the period 2009 through 2014; and Cricket/Muve Music, covering the period of 2013 through first quarter 2015. We are also excited to include our second distribution of BMI’s newly implemented Internet Audio Bonus for the most-played songs on certain digital services.
If you have not already done so, we urge you to sign up for direct deposit so that you will receive your royalties faster. In addition, if you have not set up your Online Services account, please go to www.bmi.com/Paperless and complete the requested information. You may also call 615-401-5555 with questions regarding BMI’s paperless initiative.
Congratulations go out to our GRAMMY nominees, including those up for multiple trophies: Taylor Swift, Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran, Alabama Shakes and Foo Fighters. Kudos also to our Golden Globe winners Sam Smith*, who took Best Original Song – Motion Picture for “Writing’s On The Wall” in Spectre, and Lady Gaga who won Best Performance as an Actress in a Limited Series for Television for her work in American Horror Story: Hotel; Gershwin Prize recipient Willie Nelson; as well as those writers honored at Billboard’s 2015 Women in Music: Woman of the Year Lady Gaga, Legend recipient Loretta Lynn, Group of the Year Fifth Harmony, and Powerhouse honoree Brittany Howard. This year’s showing at the American Music Awards was also impressive with multiple wins by BMI songwriters Nicki Minaj, Florida Georgia Line, One Direction* and Taylor Swift. BMI writers once again garnered major wins at the CMAs, including multiple honors going to Little Big Town.
We would also like to salute all of our recent BMI Award winners, including BMI Country Icon Mac Davis; Country Songwriter of the Year Rodney Clawson; Country Song of the Year recipients Ross Copperman, Brett Eldredge, and Heather Morgan; and Country Publisher of the Year SONY/ATV Music Publishing Nashville. Our songwriters from across the pond must also be congratulated, including BMI London Icon Graham Gouldman, Song of the Year recipient Sam Smith*, and Dance Award recipient Dennis Stehr*.
Looking ahead, we are confident that 2016 will be a dynamic and rewarding year for all. Once again, thank you to all of our songwriters, composers and publishers who supported BMI’s ongoing efforts to protect the creative process and secure fair value for your music. I would also like to remind you of the important work the BMI Foundation does in supporting emerging songwriters and music education through scholarships and grants made possible by your donations.
My best to you for the New Year, and I look forward to enlisting the help of this exceptional creative community again in the coming months.
* One Direction, Sam Smith, (PRS); Dennis Stehr (BUMA)
President and Chief Executive Officer