BMI this week posted revenues of more than $728 million for fiscal 2004-2005, an increase of more than 8.3% over the previous year, it was announced today by Del Bryant, President & CEO of the performing rights organization. This marks the first time that any copyright organization in the world has crossed the threshold of $700 million in revenues in performing rights collections. The revenues, which represent an increase of more than $56 million over the prior year, resulted in royalty distributions to BMI affiliated songwriters, composers and publishers of more than $623 million, an increase of nearly $51 million over the prior year.
"The increase in our revenues and royalty distribution for the 15th year in a row shows the overall health of our business and our commitment to seek new areas of income and to decrease operational expenses," Bryant said in making the announcement. Operational expenses as a percentage of revenues decreased from 14.6% to 14.2%, the lowest in the company's history.
BMI's increased revenue performance was bolstered by significantly higher license fees secured in the new media and mobile entertainment areas. New media licensing revenues increased by 114%, year over year, totaling $11.4 million. Tracking the growth of the US market, fees from mobile entertainment (ringtones) accounted for the largest segment of the increase. During the year, more than 500 new digital music providers were licensed, including industry leaders such as the subscription music service Rhapsody, the streaming radio service for mobile services mobZilla, and major wireless carriers.
International revenues increased by more than 9% to more than $202.9 million while the general licensing area showed an increase of more than 12.7% due to a new contract with the Muzak background music service and the strong growth in licensing eating and drinking establishments, aerobic centers and skating rinks.
The increased revenues reflect the continuing strength of the BMI repertoire. BMI affiliated songwriters were honored with multiple Grammy Awards, CMA Awards and Emmy Awards, as well as Soul Train, American Music, Handy and MTV Awards, Tony Awards for musical theater, including the Tony for Best Musical, and the Pulitzer Prize for classical music. BMI composers accounted for 75% of the music on all network prime time shows and composed the music to the majority of the Top 10 grossing films of the past year.