Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
I’m very excited to share that BMI had another record-breaking fiscal year, due to the incredible worldwide popularity of your music. BMI generated unprecedented revenues of $1.283 billion and distributed and administered a landmark $1.196 billion in royalties to our songwriters, composers and publishers, $78 million more than last year. These results mark the most reported public performance revenues and royalty distributions of any music rights organization in the world. While your creative work was in-demand across the industry, we saw notable growth in the digital sector, with revenue in that category hitting an all-time high of $262 million. On the international front, BMI saw significant growth across regions. As a result, international revenue came in at $340 million, highlighting the global impact of your music.
We’re continuing to work hard on your behalf to build on these results and protect your rights. As you know, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is reviewing the BMI and ASCAP consent decrees. Since this is a pivotal moment to modernize music licensing, last month BMI reached out for your support. I’m thrilled to report that nearly 20,000 BMI affiliates signed a letter from BMI to the DOJ in favor of our consent decree reform proposal. We greatly appreciate you lending your voice to this important cause and we thank you for your support. As always, we will update you as more information becomes available.
BMI recently had the opportunity to take part in the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation’s symposium on “Music Licensing in the 21st Century,” where I reinforced the critical need for a transformed licensing landscape in which creators and copyright owners are fairly paid for their intellectual property. Notably, Orrin Hatch served as a longtime Senator (R-UT) and Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, during which time he was a dedicated champion for songwriters’ issues in Congress. Other speakers at the symposium included Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the DOJ; Gordon Smith, President and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters; Elizabeth Matthews, CEO of ASCAP; and Orrin Hatch, Chairman Emeritus of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation. BMI is optimistic that the industry will come together to find a workable solution that will serve the greater good of music.
This quarter, BMI also made great progress with ASCAP on our joint database of musical works, which will feature comprehensive copyright ownership information from the repertoires of both PROs. We carried out multiple rounds of testing and product optimization, and we are on track to bring this solution to the market by the end of 2019. Please continue to check BMI.com for additional updates on this project.
You may have seen our recent news announcing Shirin Foroutan as BMI’s new Vice President, Creative, Europe. Shirin brings a wealth of film and music industry experience that will greatly benefit the international songwriting community who license their work in the States through BMI. We are excited to welcome Shirin and look forward to her leadership in expanding BMI’s creative efforts throughout Europe.
In addition to your quarterly royalties, this distribution includes annual payments for NCTA, sports leagues, theme parks, and various video-on-demand services. Also included is the SiriusXM 2018 true-up, distributions for Google Play for fourth quarter 2018 and first quarter 2019, as well as full-year payments for Facebook and Guitar Hero (2016), Peloton (2017), Napster (2018), and Microsoft VOD (2018). Please remember to sign up for direct deposit, if you haven’t already.
Finally, I’d like to congratulate all of our affiliates who took home awards at BMI’s R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, including our newest President’s Award winner, Brandy; Songwriters of the Year, Tay Keith and Post Malone; Song of the Year, “God’s Plan,” written by Daveon “Yung Exclusive” Jackson and Brock “Marciano” Korsan; Producers of the Year, Tay Keith and Wheezy Beatz; and Publisher of the Year, Sony/ATV. Kudos also go to the one-and-only John Hiatt, who was honored with BMI’s Troubadour Award for his outstanding contributions to American music. We’d also like to give a shout-out to our Creative Arts Emmy winners and our Americana Award winners. Next up, we’re looking forward to celebrating our international affiliates at BMI’s London Awards in October, as well as our country writers and publishers at BMI’s Country Awards in November.
What an amazing year it’s been, thanks to your groundbreaking talent and creativity. Thank you all for entrusting BMI with your phenomenal music, which truly does move our world.
President and Chief Executive Officer