Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
Happy new year! I hope you had wonderful holidays and are gearing up for all the good things that 2020 will bring. As you know, BMI wrapped 2019 with record-breaking royalty distributions, thanks to your exceptional creativity and the global popularity of your music. As we begin an exciting new decade, we’re looking forward to all you will create next, as well as building on our strong track record of service to you. I’d also like to take this opportunity to share a few key updates.
In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is continuing to evaluate the future of the BMI and ASCAP consent decrees. We greatly appreciate you lending your voice to this critical cause and we thank you again for supporting our proposal for decree reform. BMI is having ongoing conversations with the DOJ regarding this matter, and we’ll provide you with more information as it becomes available.
Also, on the advocacy front, BMI remains committed to supporting legislative candidates who fight for the music industry and promote strong copyright laws in Congress. If you’re interested in backing this endeavor, please take a moment to learn more about the BMI PAC. Together, we can form a collective voice to educate candidates and let them know what issues are important to their constituents regarding the growth and success of the music business.
In this distribution, we’re pleased to include retro payments for ABC from 2017 through 2018, royalties for both Facebook and Guitar Hero TV for 2017, and payments for Slacker from 2015 through 2016. In addition, we’re including our first payments for music used in video games, with royalties for Twitch for 2018.
Because of a new review of tax law in Italy, our sister society, SIAE, is withholding 30% of your payments for tax purposes. As a result, your royalties from that region have been reduced by that amount and are currently one quarter behind due to the ongoing conversations around this issue. Please note that this situation is impacting the broader industry and we are collectively and actively working with SIAE to resolve this matter. We will have updated information for you in the near future.
Finally, we have many congratulations to extend: to our GRAMMY nominees, CMA Award winners, Golden Globe winners, and our Oscar nominees. Kudos also go to BMI’s London Award winners: Noel Gallagher, our President’s Award recipient; Camila Cabello, who took home the Song of the Year trophy for ”Never Be The Same,” which she co-wrote with Noonie Bao (STIM), Adam ‘Frank Dukes’ Feeney (SOCAN) and Sasha Sloan; and Raye, who received our inaugural BMI Impact Award. In addition, we were proud to celebrate our BMI Country Award winners: Dwight Yoakam, our President’s Award honoree; Songwriters of the Year, Nicolle Galyon and Ross Copperman; and Publisher of the Year, Warner-Tamerlane Music Publishing. We also saluted the legendary song “Rocky Top” with BMI’s very first Evergreen Award.
Thank you for an amazing 2019. Next up, Sundance, where we’ll feature a number of our stellar composers at the Composer/Director Roundtable and our not-to-be-missed Snowball showcase. We’re so excited to continue to promote your creative work, advocate for your rights, and protect and grow the value of your music in 2020 and beyond. Here’s to the start of another terrific decade!
President and Chief Executive Officer