Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
I hope this distribution finds you well. It’s hard to believe we are nearly halfway through 2016! It’s certainly been a dynamic year so far, and once again I’m pleased to be able to report good news on many fronts.
As a result of BMI’s successful litigation against Pandora, which concluded in 2015 and raised the streaming service’s licensing fees, this distribution includes a retroactive increase to the payments some of you have already received for Pandora performances for first quarter 2013 through second quarter 2015. In total, we are distributing an additional $11 million. Starting with our upcoming September distribution you will see an even higher rate structure, due to our newly executed agreement with Pandora, effective first quarter 2016.
Also included in this distribution are payments for performances on two new Internet services retroactive to their launch: Apple Music (which has replaced iTunes Radio) and Beats 1. The retro payments are for performances in the third and fourth quarters 2015 for both of these services. Fourth quarter payments for iTunes Radio are also included. In the “Internet Audio Visual” section of your statements, if applicable, you will find 2015 payments for Crackle, and 2013 through 2015 payments for Sony Video Unlimited.
In response to the needs of music creators and music users in today’s digital marketplace, I’m excited to report that BMI recently launched our improved online repertoire database. It is now easier to use and more transparent, and includes new features such as the ability to view publisher catalogs and see shares controlled by BMI at the work level. Our enhanced repertoire database, found at repertoire.bmi.com, is also optimized for mobile, so you can search on the go. We hope you find that you can now access much more information in a streamlined, user-friendly way.
I also want to thank all of you who have urged your Members of Congress to support the Songwriter Equity Act this quarter through BMI’s online advocacy tool. If you have not yet participated in this effort, please consider doing so at bmi.com/advocacy. Some of you may have seen that the U.S. Justice Department and ASCAP announced a $1.75 million settlement of charges against ASCAP for violation of its consent decree. Please be assured that while the Justice Department has reviewed BMI’s practices in this context, they have not pursued any such claims against BMI. In fact, we have never been found to be in violation of our consent decree throughout our 76-year history. BMI continues to have productive conversations with the Justice Department on the need to modify our consent decree, and as always, we will update you as developments occur.
On the awards front, we have so many affiliates to congratulate this quarter that we invite you to enjoy our online stories celebrating our honorees: Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees; Ivor Novello winners; Tony and Drama Desk nominees; NEA Jazz Masters; all the winners at the ACMs; and our Billboard Latin Award winners. We were also proud to pay tribute to our family of outstanding composers at our Film/TV Awards last month, saluting BMI Icon James Newton Howard and Classic Contribution Award recipient David Newman, as well as our stellar songwriters, producers and publishers at our Pop Awards, with special honoree Taylor Swift and newly crowned BMI Icons Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. In addition, we were delighted to honor the impressive young winners of our BMI Student Composer Awards.
On a final note, if you have not yet done so, please remember to sign up for direct deposit at bmi.com/paperless to receive your royalties more efficiently. As we look forward to our BMI Christian Awards, Lollapalooza and all the other events of the season, we wish you a great summer. Thank you for continuing to make this year another creative milestone.
President and Chief Executive Officer