A Message to BMI Affiliates from Mike O’Neill: Our Priority is Your Success

Posted in News on September 5, 2023

There’s a lot being said recently about BMI and our future — some of it is speculation, some of it mischaracterization, and some that reflects a clear lack of understanding about BMI’s mission, our priority and our path forward. Let me set the record straight.

Our mission has been and always will be to serve our songwriters, composers and publishers and grow the value of your music. This responsibility is at the very core of what BMI has always been about. We are the most successful PRO in the world with the highest distributions of any PRO in the world, because we always have your best interests top of mind. We didn’t get there by simply sitting back and resting on our laurels — relying on the past has never sustained a business for the future, especially in a rapidly changing industry like ours.

That’s why we changed our business model last year to both invest in our company and grow your distributions in ways our old model prevented us from doing. And we’ve seen the exact type of progress we expected.

The three distributions issued under this new model were on average 9% higher than the corresponding ones from the previous year. At the same time, we invested in new businesses, technologies and enhancements that will continue to improve the service we provide to our music creators, deliver even greater transparency around your royalties, and create new revenue opportunities to grow distributions outside of our traditional means.

It is easy to assume that if we kept doing business the way we always had, distributions would continue to grow. That is a dangerous assumption to make, because in an evolving industry like ours, you run the risk of settling for a larger slice of a shrinking pie. Our goal is to grow that pie to your benefit.

And let me address the speculation about a potential BMI sale. While we have the resources to continue to grow our business, if we can find a partner who can help us take advantage of new opportunities and provide a new level of investment and technological expertise, then of course we would explore that. But let me also be very clear, we would only consider a partner who has a proven track record of growing the companies they work with and one who would prioritize our affiliates and their financial success. Anyone suggesting otherwise hasn’t paid any attention to our history and mission.

We know that change can be unsettling, but we also know that we will only be successful if our path forward works for our affiliates. We know you have options of where to go for the representation of your music. Our priority is to keep improving our service to you and earn your continued trust. One of the most concerning rumors I have heard is that BMI would no longer prioritize all songwriters and instead focus on only our most successful. There is absolutely no truth to that. The industry’s most successful music creators didn’t start out that way, and we pride ourselves on our work helping to guide, develop, and support your talent to ensure your passion can also be a profession.

We are excited for what’s to come. BMI has always been there for our creative community, welcoming all songwriters and composers of all genres through our open-door policy, championing our creators at every career stage, fighting for the highest compensation for your incredible music that we all love, and far beyond. All of this is at the heart and soul of BMI and will never change.

Thank You,

  Signed Michael O'Neill

Mike O’Neill
President & CEO




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