Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
I hope you’re having a great spring and feeling creatively inspired. It’s been a busy few months on our end, and I’d like to share some exciting updates, starting with the news that this quarter has surpassed February’s historic distribution to become BMI’s largest royalty distribution ever. We’re very gratified to provide this, thanks to the incredible popularity of your music across platforms.
We are also thrilled to have won a massive victory regarding live concert rates that will greatly benefit our creative community. In March, BMI prevailed in our rate court dispute against Live Nation, AEG and the North American Concert Promoters Association (NACPA). That decision ended decades of below-market rates in the live concert industry and resulted in a new rate that is significantly higher and appropriately reflects the importance of your music to the live concert experience. Notably, that rate will be applied to an expanded revenue base that takes into account how concerts are currently monetized. We expect that Live Nation, AEG and NACPA will appeal this ruling, but rest assured that BMI is well prepared to continue the fight on your behalf to ensure fair value for your creative work.
On Capitol Hill, Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA) and Congressman Ron Estes (R-KS) recently introduced the bipartisan Help Independent Tracks Succeed (HITS) Act, a bill written to allow independent music creators to deduct 100 percent of recording production expenses in the year they are incurred, rather than in later years. Available to musicians, technicians, songwriters and producers, this bill aims to help level the playing field for these creators. BMI supports the HITS Act and is working with others in the music community to get it passed.
In addition to your quarterly royalties, if applicable to you, this distribution includes retroactive payments for performances from these sources: Amazon Unlimited Subscription, Amazon Unlimited Free, and Amazon Prime for first through fourth quarters of 2022; Discovery+ for first through fourth quarters of 2021; as well as four years of retro payments for The Roku Channel from 2017 through 2021. We’re also including a partial interim payment for Paramount+ for third and fourth quarters of 2021, as we continue to negotiate our agreement with that service. I’m also happy to share that Spotify has renewed its agreement with BMI and will continue to be a valuable partner moving forward.
On another note, we were excited to partner with TikTok last month on an online masterclass exclusively for BMI songwriters. The well-attended workshop and Q&A session was led by TikTok and provided insights and best practices for affiliates to build their presence on the platform and effectively promote their music. Notably, this was the first of its kind class that TikTok designed and presented for songwriters. BMI looks forward to offering more of these types of opportunities for our creative community.
We were also very proud to celebrate our outstanding affiliates at our award celebrations this quarter, including the BMI Latin Awards, Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards, Pop Awards, Film, TV & Visual Media Awards, and Composer Awards. Special honorees included Grupero superstar Ana Bárbara and renowned composer Christopher Lennertz, both named BMI Icons; BMI Champion Award winner Khalid; and Trailblazers of Gospel Music Award honorees Tamela and David Mann and Dr. Bobby Jones. Additionally, rock and roll legend John Fogerty received the BMI Board of Directors Awards at the 73rd Annual BMI/NAB Dinner. Kudos go out to all our songwriters and composers who received accolades at this year’s Latin American Music Awards, as well as our Ivor Award and Tony Award nominees. Lastly, I want to thank everyone who played our stages at SXSW and the Key West Songwriters Festival.
Next up, I’m looking forward to BMI’s Christian Awards, our amazing lineup at Lollapalooza and all the other great events of the season. Have a wonderful summer!
President and Chief Executive Officer