Quarterly Distribution Update

August 2023

Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,

I hope you’re having a great summer. There’s been a lot of activity on our end this quarter, and I’m happy to share several exciting updates. 

As you know, BMI is always working to improve our service to you. To that end, in June, we were very pleased to announce an extensive new initiative to modernize and enhance the customer service experience for our affiliates. The new multi-phase project will include the creation of a dedicated customer service team as well as the implementation of new processes and technologies to ensure that your royalty administration questions are addressed in the most efficient way possible. You can read more about this new initiative and what to expect here.

On the international front, this May, BMI announced a partnership with Music Nation, a UAE-based music rights management organization, to establish a world-class music licensing and royalty distribution infrastructure based in the United Arab Emirates. The new endeavor will protect the rights of music creators and compensate them for the public performances of their work, while also helping to develop and nurture the next generation of songwriters and composers within the region.

In my last letter, I highlighted BMI’s victory in our rate court litigation against the live concert industry, which will have a significant and long-term positive impact on royalties for this category. Since then, Live Nation, AEG and the North American Concert Promoters Association (NACPA) filed their notice to appeal. We expected this and BMI will continue to fight for our affiliates, whose music is the very backbone of the live concert industry, to preserve our victory. In addition, BMI won our motion to prevent the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) from beginning a joint rate court proceeding against BMI and ASCAP before a single judge, thwarting their misguided legal attempt to deny fair compensation to songwriters. Unsurprisingly, the RMLC has chosen to appeal our win, and as we have demonstrated in the live-concert case, BMI will continue to take the necessary steps to protect our affiliates’ essential contributions to the radio industry.

We also joined forces with ASCAP this quarter to form a task force to combat data fraud, an issue that is of paramount importance to us. Combining our expertise on this critical issue, the task force will address suspicious registrations associated with musical works across the global collective management ecosystem, among other key priorities.

On the legislative side, a hearing was held this June in Nashville by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet to examine the impact of the Music Modernization Act, five years after it was signed into law. In a joint letter submitted for the hearing record, BMI and ASCAP reaffirmed our support for the historic legislation and highlighted steps we have taken to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the music licensing marketplace.

In addition to your quarterly royalties, for those whose works have been performed by these licensees, this distribution includes annual payments for sports leagues (MLB, NFL and NHL), theme parks (Disney, Dollywood and Universal) and karaoke sources. You may also see payments for CloudCover for first quarter of 2023; Equinox from first quarter 2020 through first quarter 2023; along with Discovery+, ROKU, and pay-per-views from various cable networks for 2022. On the Licensing front, we notably recently renewed our agreement with YouTube.

I’d like to congratulate all of our affiliates who were recognized for their exceptional craft and artistry this quarter, including our BMI Christian Award winners and BMI Spotlight Award recipient Dorothy Leonard Miller, our Emmy nominees, Premios Juventud winners, Premios Tu Música Urbano winners and our Ivor Novello Award winners. Kudos to our legendary affiliates who were inducted this year into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Gloria Estefan and Liz Rose, as well as Sir Tim Rice who received the organization’s highest honor, the Johnny Mercer Award. Lastly, I’d like to give a shout-out to all the amazing bands and performers who lit up the BMI stage at Lollapalooza earlier this month. 

Coming up next is our R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, where we’ll pay tribute to the legendary Lil Wayne as a BMI Icon while celebrating 50 incredible years of Hip-Hop. Before we know it, it’ll be time for BMI’s Troubadour Awards, London Awards, ACL and our Country Dinner. All great things to look forward to.

As always, thank you for putting your trust in BMI to represent you and your phenomenal music. Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Signed Michael O'Neill

Mike O'Neill
President and Chief Executive Officer

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