Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
It’s been a busy quarter for BMI and an incredible start to the year for music creators and copyright owners. There have been several important developments since BMI won the consent decree battle against the U.S. Department of Justice at the end of 2017. January saw the introduction of the Music Modernization Act in the U.S. Senate by a bipartisan group of senators, following companion legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives the month prior. Both proposed bills aim to benefit songwriters and publishers and we are excited to see this legislation garnering significant support.
To that end, BMI was pleased to recently reach an agreement, along with ASCAP, with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) that paves the way to move forward on the portions of this bill most valuable to your performance royalties. For the first time in decades, we see true opportunity for Congress to pass comprehensive legislation that would reform music licensing, and buy-in from the broadcast industry helps strengthen this goal.
In industry news, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) recently ruled to raise the rates paid to songwriters and music publishers from on-demand subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music for the next five-year period (2018-2022). This is the largest increase in CRB history for music creators as it pertains to mechanicals in section 115 of the Copyright Act.
In this distribution, we are pleased to include cable network retroactive payments for WGN America, covering 2015 and 2016; as well as first time retroactive payments for DIRECTV VOD, for 2012 through 2015; and AT&T VOD, for 2011 through 2016. Going forward, please note that DIRECTV VOD has become AT&T VOD, and royalties for AT&T VOD will continue to be distributed once a year as a cable and satellite VOD (video on demand) source. As a reminder, it’s easy to sign up for direct deposit and receive your royalties faster!
I would like to take a moment to thank all of you for your outstanding achievements so far this year and tell you how much I look forward to what you will accomplish throughout the rest of 2018. Congratulations go out to all of our impressive GRAMMY winners; our brilliant composers who swept both Academy Award musical categories, Alexandre Desplat (SACEM) who claimed Best Original Score for his work in The Shape of Water and first-ever double EGOT winner Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez who took Best Original Song for “Remember Me” from Coco; our Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees, Bill Anderson, Robert “Kool” Bell, George Brown, Steve Dorff, James “JT” Taylor and Allee Willis; and our country affiliates who received ACM nominations. I’m also anticipating a great night at the upcoming BMI Latin Awards, where we will honor Luis Fonsi with BMI’s President’s Award and Residente with BMI’s Champion Award, while celebrating the best in Latin music.
As always, BMI is thrilled and privileged to represent the most talented and creative music makers in the world. I look forward to bringing you additional updates, and until then, have a wonderful spring.
President and Chief Executive Officer