Dear Songwriter, Composer and Publisher,
It’s the time of year to reflect on what we’re grateful for and I want to thank all of you for being part of the BMI family. It’s truly our privilege to represent you, and looking ahead to 2024, we’re excited to continue to improve our service and grow the value of your unparalleled music.
I’m very pleased to share that this November distribution is more than $400 million, making BMI the first PRO to ever distribute in total this high an amount in a single quarter. In addition, this quarter also marks a historic high for international distributions, which underscores the global strength of your music. Notably, distributions for the full calendar year of 2023, all under our new business model, are up 11% compared to the corresponding distributions under our old model in calendar year 2022. All of these achievements are due to the exceptional popularity of your music across platforms.
While we delivered record-breaking royalty distributions this year, we also invested in new businesses, technologies and enhancements that will continue to augment the service we provide to you, deliver even greater transparency around your royalties, and create new revenue opportunities to grow distributions beyond our traditional means. I look forward to sharing more details with you about these initiatives in the coming months.
As I’ve previously mentioned, we’re continuing to have productive discussions with a potential partner regarding a possible sale of BMI. While no deal has been done, any decisions we make will be with our creative community’s best interests in mind. Please be assured that whether we choose to go in this direction or not, your growth and financial success remain our top priority. As we move forward, I’ll keep you updated about any developments on this front.
In Washington D.C., BMI recently filed comments in response to the U.S. Copyright Office’s Notice of Inquiry on copyright and artificial intelligence. BMI’s comment focused on establishing protection for songwriters and composers and promoting the ethical use of AI in a way that fosters creativity and expands economic opportunities in the creative industries. Moreover, President Biden released an Executive Order on AI, which instructs the Copyright Office to provide additional recommendations to the White House regarding copyright on AI-generated content, as well as copyrighted material being used to “train” AI algorithms. To highlight AI’s impact on creatives, BMI partnered with the Smithsonian last month to host an event for Members of Congress at the National Museum of American History. The evening featured Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds who shared the stories behind his hits and treated the audience to an acoustic performance. During the event, I highlighted the importance of protecting the rights of music creators as lawmakers make decisions about AI policy.
As for the details of this distribution, it includes your regular quarterly royalties, and if eligible, you will see payments from Samsung Plus for all four quarters of 2022, Soundtrack Your Brand for the second quarter of 2023, and JioSaavn for all four quarters of 2021. On the Licensing side, Amazon has renewed its agreement with BMI and will continue to be a valuable partner moving forward.
This quarter, we were thrilled to celebrate our incomparable affiliates at our award shows, including our Troubadour Awards, R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, which also commemorated the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, the London Awards and our Country Awards. We congratulate all our honorees, including the legendary songwriter/guitarist and founding member of ZZ Top, Billy F Gibbons, who received the Troubadour Award, as well as phenomenal rapper Lil Wayne, Spandau Ballet founder Gary Kemp and renowned Nashville songwriter Matraca Berg, who were each named BMI Icons. Kudos go out to all our amazing songwriters and composers who won Billboard Latin Music Awards, World Soundtrack Awards, and CMA Awards, as well as our nominees for Latin GRAMMY Awards and GRAMMY Awards. I’d also like to thank all the songwriters and bands who played the BMI Stage at ACL Music Fest last month. This year marks the 20th anniversary of our ACL stage and you being part of it makes it that much more special.
We appreciate you putting your trust in us to protect your rights and represent your outstanding music. On behalf of everyone at BMI, have a wonderful holiday season with your friends and family, and a healthy and happy new year!
President and Chief Executive Officer