Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
Summer is fast approaching and I hope the season brings you fun, sun and creativity. As you know, it’s been a busy quarter for all of us and I’d like to update you on several developments.
In regard to legislation, I’m pleased to report that the Music Modernization Act (MMA) unanimously passed in the House of Representatives. Last month, the MMA was introduced in the Senate, and we are cautiously optimistic it will lead to meaningful reform that will benefit music creators. To review the provisions of this vital bill, please visit bmi.com.
On the licensing front, as we expected, the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) filed a rate court action against BMI, seeking a below-market rate based on flawed market share data. This follows two-years of negotiation during which BMI sought to establish a new rate for the RMLC that fairly and accurately reflects the scope and quality of the music we represent, and which is higher than the rate being paid to our nearest competitor. BMI looks forward to presenting our position before the Court and demonstrating the strength of our repertoire. As always, we will keep you updated as this matter proceeds.
In addition to your regularly scheduled payments for this quarter, this distribution includes audio royalties for Amazon Prime Music, covering second quarter 2014 through fourth quarter 2017, and Amazon Unlimited, covering fourth quarter 2016 through fourth quarter 2017. As a reminder, to receive your royalties faster we encourage you to sign up for direct deposit.
We are also excited to report that we have updated our digital bonus program to include additional streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Unlimited and YouTube Red, among others. Notably, BMI continues to invest in this initiative in recognition of the importance of content delivered across these platforms. The growing diversification in the consumption of music and the myriad services on which it is offered, coupled with our new, nimble approach allows BMI to value your music in ways that reflect this increasingly dynamic marketplace.
On another note pertaining to your royalties, in recent months we have received questions regarding our policy with respect to the payment of certain bonuses to affiliates who are no longer represented by BMI. BMI’s policy is simple. Regardless of the current affiliation of a songwriter, any songs (and associated songwriters) that remain with BMI for licensing will continue to be eligible for bonus payments.
Finally, because of the immense popularity of your music, we have many BMI affiliates to congratulate this quarter. We invite you to read about our Tony winners; NEA Jazz Masters; and ACM winners; as well as the many BMI honorees we celebrated at BMI’s Trailblazers of Gospel Music; BMI’s Latin Awards, honoring President’s Award winner Luis Fonsi and Champion Award recipient Residente; BMI’s Pop Awards, celebrating Champion Award honoree Mark Ronson; BMI’s Film, TV & Visual Media Awards, saluting the legendary John Williams, as well as Laura Karpman, Miriam Cutler and Lolita Ritmanis for founding the Alliance for Women Film Composers, and Classic Contribution recipient Rick Baitz; along with the BMI Student Composer Awards, recognizing the most promising new talent in classical music.
Looking ahead, we’re excited for BMI’s Christian Awards, BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Awards and the many summer festivals, which will be made all the better by wonderful performances by so many of you. And if you’re headed to Lollapalooza this year, make it a point to stop by the BMI stage. We’d love to see you.
Enjoy your summer!
President and Chief Executive Officer