The nearly four-year-old program has been growing steadily and now has 33 restaurant associations among its membership. Not one of them has ever dropped out of the program for any reason.
"BMI's service has been wonderful!" said Doni DeNucci, President and CEO of the Iowa Hospitality Association and President of the International Society of Restaurant Association Executives. "I would recommend the BMI discount program to other restaurant associations without hesitation."
Richie Jackson, Executive Vice President of the Texas Restaurant Association, expressed similar support: "We've been very pleased with the program and our relationship with BMI," Jackson said. "At first, some members of our board were reluctant to enter into an agreement with any society representing songwriters and performing artists, but since they've seen the relationship with BMI develop, they've been very pleased and have not experienced any problems."
The discount on BMI license fees is the most important benefit of the BMI program, association executives agreed, but there are additional reasons to participate.
"The biggest benefit obviously is the discount on services BMI provides," said Steve Chucri, President and CEO of the Arizona Hospitality and Restaurant Association. "Secondly, the resource that BMI supplies is very important. BMI has been a good partner in providing musical entertainment benefits to our members."
The BMI program has saved restaurant associations more than $1 million in discounted fees (not including on-time payment discounts) since inception, according to Tom Annastas, BMI VP, General Licensing. The program also recruited another 2,000 members for the associations.
Larry Fidel, Executive Director of the Alabama Restaurant Association, also pointed out the importance of educational materials in the program. "Aside from the discount, the biggest benefit is the educational resources on music copyright issues. Periodically, we work with BMI to send out information pieces BMI puts together about copyright law."
"I think there is less confusion about music licensing in restaurants, now," said Fidel. "Our members understand music licensing more. I'm not saying they're crazy about it, but they understand it more.
"It's our viewpoint that the law is the law," Fidel added. "To avoid it and not work with companies such as BMI is to not do what our association should do - provide information to our members."
The BMI Association Benefit Program began in late 1999 to improve communication between music copyright owners and organizations representing the food and beverage industry. The program provides savings on music licensing up to 12% for association members, depending on the option selected by the association.
BMI Association Discount Program: Restaurant Associations
1.Alabama Restaurant Association
2.Arizona Restaurant Association
3.California Restaurant Association
4.Connecticut Restaurant Association
5.Colorado Restaurant Association
6.Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington
7.Florida Restaurant Association
8.Georgia Hospitality & Travel Association
9.Illinois Restaurant Association
10.Restaurant & Hospitality Association of Indiana
11.Iowa Hospitality Association
12.Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association
13.Louisiana Restaurant Association
14.Maine Restaurant Association
15.Restaurant Association of Maryland
16.Michigan Restaurant Association
17.Minnesota Restaurant Association
18.Mississippi Restaurant Association
19.Montana Restaurant Association
20.Nevada Restaurant Association
21.New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association
22.New Mexico Restaurant Association
23.New York State Restaurant Association
24.North Carolina Restaurant Association
25.Ohio Restaurant Association
26.Pennsylvania Restaurant Association
27.Tennessee Restaurant Association
28.Texas Restaurant Association
29.Utah Restaurant Association
30.Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association
31.Washington (state) Restaurant Association
32.West Virginia Hospitality & Travel Association
33.Wisconsin Restaurant Association