Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
It’s been a productive quarter for BMI and I’d like to take this opportunity to share some important updates. We have great news regarding our efforts to set an interim rate with the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) while we negotiate a new five-year agreement. As you know, on January 3 BMI filed an action in Federal Rate Court against the RMLC following its offer of an interim rate well below BMI’s previous deal. I’m pleased to report that on February 17 the RMLC agreed to maintain the most recent rate while new terms are negotiated. Naturally, BMI does not enter into litigation lightly, but we always take the necessary steps to preserve the value of your music. We will keep you informed as we move forward with securing a new deal with the RMLC that reflects the current marketplace and is in the best interests of our affiliates.
On the Washington, D.C. front, we continued to advance our agenda to safeguard your copyrights. In February, BMI filed two sets of comments solicited by Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on the topic of Copyright Office modernization. One was jointly submitted with ASCAP, and the other with a broad coalition of music industry stakeholders. These submissions focus on the structure and funding of the Copyright Office, which is vital to the protection of your rights as copyright holders. In the year ahead, we will continue our dialogue with Congress and the larger music industry community on this and other issues of crucial importance to music creators.
With this distribution, we are pleased to include retroactive royalty payments for Internet performances on Groove Music, Tidal and VEVO, with payments from each covering performances from first quarter through third quarter 2016. Additionally, first-time payments for Internet audiovisual service Microsoft VOD are also included for performances from 2010 through 2015. This distribution also includes BMI’s settlement with Apple for streaming activity across Apple properties from 2014 and 2015. Remember, you can receive all your royalties more quickly by signing up for direct deposit.
In closing, I’d like to congratulate all of our GRAMMY winners, including Adele*, who made GRAMMY history by winning in all five categories in which she was nominated, and Chance the Rapper, who took home an impressive three trophies; Justin Hurwitz, our Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award Award-winning composer of the music for the blockbuster film La La Land; our BRIT Award winners Little Mix*, David Bowie*, Emeli Sandé*, One Direction* and Adele*; and all of our outstanding country songwriters who received ACM nods, including multiple nominees Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw and Thomas Rhett. In addition, during BMI’s Trailblazers of Gospel Music Honors we were delighted to salute the musical legacy of Marvin Sapp, along with Kirk Franklin and Al Green, who were awarded Song of the Year for “Wanna Be Happy?”; and we are excited for our upcoming BMI Latin Awards, where we will proudly name Los Lobos our newest BMI Icons.
Thank you all for letting BMI represent such an impressive repertoire of music. It is truly the best in the world.
President and Chief Executive Officer