BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston said both the revenues and royalty distributions were the largest in the company's history. "Our achievement this year is the result of the extraordinary success and popularity of the repertoire created by BMI's songwriters and composers, and of continued strength in BMI's licensing efforts," said Preston.
BMI's leadership in licensing produced solid revenue growth in radio, network television, general licensing and new media. New agreements were signed with the CBS and ABC television networks, Univision and 32 new cable television networks. New media revenues were up 70%, including licensing more than 100 new mobile music-content companies for use of music in ringtones and other services.
BMI's repertoire showed strength across the musical spectrum with hits from multiple Grammy winner Alison Krauss, to goth rockers Evanescence, to country chart-toppers Toby Keith, Martina McBride and Tim McGraw, and urban superstars R. Kelly, Kany� West and Pharrell Williams. BMI composers scored seven of the year's top ten films, including Shrek 2 and the new installment of the Harry Potter series, as well as Broadway's Tony-winning Avenue Q.
Thanks to that powerhouse repertoire appeal, BMI's international revenues also surged ahead by 35% to more than $186 million, aided by favorable exchange rates.
BMI's excellent results for the year cap a 19-year period of extraordinary growth and stability under Preston's leadership as the company's President and CEO. Both revenues and royalties during her tenure grew to more than 3.5 times their 1986 amounts. Revenue grew to $673 million, versus 1986 revenues of $189 million. Royalty distributions grew to $573 million, versus 1986 distributions of $162 million.
BMI's performance is especially remarkable over the past 10 years, a period when market forces and technology have battered other companies in the music and copyright business. During the period 1995-2004, BMI had an average annual revenue growth rate of 9%, far higher than other copyright organizations. Thanks to Preston's leadership in applying technology and innovation in BMI's business systems, and careful attention to cost controls and efficiency, the company traversed this period without a single business-related layoff, while substantially increasing productivity.
Executive Vice President Del Bryant, who will assume the position of President and CEO after Preston steps down at month's end, said, "Frances leaves an incredible legacy of success in all aspects of our business, both at home and abroad. She has built one of the finest management teams in the entertainment industry, giving us an extraordinary opportunity to take BMI to new benchmarks in the future."
BMI's fiscal year covers the period July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004.
Representing more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers with a repertoire of 4.5 million musical works from around the world, BMI licenses more than half the music performed in America. Founded in 1939, BMI operates on a non-profit basis, paying more than 85% of revenue collected to copyright owners.