Quarterly Distribution Update

March 2020

Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,

I hope you are doing well during these challenging times. As we all face the growing impact of COVID-19, rest assured that BMI is taking all necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our team members and making sure our business can continue to operate as usual under these circumstances. Please know that we are here and available to you for any questions you may have. As always, we remain committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that you are compensated for the use of your outstanding music, wherever and whenever it is performed. 

Meanwhile, I’d like to take this opportunity to share some important updates that benefit our creative community. First, BMI and the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) have settled our rate court litigation dispute. Pending the Court’s approval, we will enter into a new multi-year deal covering the 2017-2021 period. The new license means a rate that reflects the strength of your music and the number of radio plays it receives, which is higher than any other performing rights organization. This outcome speaks to your incredible creativity and the extraordinary popularity of your songs, and we are pleased to have resolved this matter in a way that better recognizes the value of your work.

In addition to the new rate, the new agreement also clarifies and preserves the platforms that are covered by the scope of the license and associated revenue, including over-the-air broadcasts, as well as the stations’ simulcast streaming, podcasts and HD radio. We will keep you apprised of the Court’s final ruling and related distribution as soon as it becomes available. 

Moreover, we’re happy to welcome veteran Music Row executive Clay Bradley back to BMI as our new Vice President of Creative in Nashville. Clay has spent the last few years as Founder and CEO of Eclipse Music Group, an artist development and publishing company focused on delivering emerging new songwriters and artists to the marketplace. Previously, Clay served for seven years as BMI’s Assistant Vice President of Creative in Nashville, where he developed many top songwriters, fostered key industry relationships, and spearheaded multiple events that generated valuable performance opportunities for our burgeoning singer/songwriters. In his new role at BMI, Clay will lead the Creative team in BMI’s Nashville office, bringing a wealth of experience to help support your craft and your career.

In addition to your regularly scheduled royalties, this distribution includes royalties from our new license with Amazon Prime Music from first quarter 2019 forward. On the international front, BMI recently signed a new reciprocal agreement with the U.K. music rights society, PRS, which reinforces our shared commitment to transparency and service to songwriters, composers and publishers, and will continue to benefit the music creators and copyright owners represented in both territories. Keep in mind that we are working closely with our sister societies overseas during this unprecedented time and will keep you updated as news warrants.

Once again, we have many outstanding affiliates to congratulate this quarter: all of our GRAMMY winners; our Oscar winners, Elton John (PRS) who took Best Original Song for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from the biopic Rocketman and Hildur Guðnadóttir who earned Best Score for her incredible work in Joker, which also won her the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award; our Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees, Chad Hugo, Dave Stewart and William “Mickey” Stevenson; this year’s NEA Jazz Masters, Bobby McFerrin and Reggie Workman; and finally, our ACM nominees.

I look forward to sharing more updates soon, and until then, please take good care of yourself and your loved ones. Your BMI family is so proud to represent you and your incomparable music.


Signed Michael O'Neill

Mike O'Neill
President and Chief Executive Officer