It’s been a productive quarter for all of us in the industry and I’m optimistic about where we’re headed. With that in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some recent developments that have the potential to bring about great change.
As you may know, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is evaluating the future of the BMI and ASCAP consent decrees. The DOJ’s interest in this matter represents a clear opportunity to accomplish what we’ve been trying to do for years – modernize music licensing to better reflect the transformative changes in our industry. Given the importance of this issue, BMI and ASCAP united our voices in an open letter to the industry that outlines our joint position on consent decree reform. Our recommendations call for a free market with less government regulation, which we believe is the best way for music creators to be rewarded for their creative work. A free market would also create a more productive, efficient and level playing field for everyone involved. We anticipate that the DOJ will call for a public comment period regarding the PRO decrees in the near future, and we’ll be reaching out for your help when the time is right. Rest assured that whatever the outcome of the DOJ’s review, BMI will continue to maximize the value of your music.
You may also recall that the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act requires a collective to license and administer mechanical rights. Yesterday, the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), and the Songwriters of North America (SONA) submitted its application to the U.S. Copyright Office to serve as its Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC). BMI would like to thank Dallas Davidson and Bob DiPiero for their service on the Songwriter Advisory Panel, serving with other writers and composers to select the songwriter representatives for the MLC Board and Committees. Among those representatives, BMI would like to congratulate Kara DioGuardi, Tim Nichols and Oak Felder, who were selected to serve on the MLC Board of Directors, as well as busbee, David Lowery, Dan Navarro and Tom Shapiro, who were chosen to serve on the MLC Unclaimed Royalties Oversight Committee. In addition, Aimée Allen, David Hodges, and Jennifer Schott were selected to serve on the MLC Dispute Resolution Committee. You will all be vital to the direction of these committees, and we appreciate your dedication to this endeavor.
On the licensing front, BMI remains in rate court with the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and the North American Concert Promoters Association (NACPA). We’re working hard to be able to distribute higher royalties when your music is played on radio and during live concerts, and we’ll keep you updated as these proceedings progress.
BMI affiliates dominated this year’s awards season. Congratulations go out to our Oscar winners, Ludwig Göransson, who took Best Original Score for Black Panther, and Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, who won Best Original Song for “Shallow” from A Star is Born; all of our GRAMMY winners, including Childish Gambino who made history with his single “This is America,” the first rap song to take Song of the Year and Record of the Year, and Kacey Musgraves who won Album of the Year for “Golden Hour”; our talented ACM nominees; and our legendary Songwriters Hall of Fame induction nominees. We were also very proud to celebrate all of our BMI Latin Award winners, including President’s Award honoree Mario Quintero Lara and Champion Award recipient Sebastian Krys.
Earlier this month, BMI was pleased to officially open our new office in Austin, which will be led by Texas native and BMI Senior Director of Creative, Mitch Ballard. This new home for BMI along with Mitch’s music industry and tech experience will enhance BMI’s ability to serve our Texas affiliates and support the talented songwriters and emerging artists in the Austin music community. We were also excited to see so many amazing BMI songwriter/artists light up our stages at SXSW, and we look forward to the wonderful performances at the Key West Songwriters festival in May.
I hope your creativity is inspired as we head into spring, and please know that I speak for everyone at BMI when I say that we are honored to represent you and your incredible contributions to music.
President and Chief Executive Officer