Yesterday, Live Nation, AEG and the North American Concert Promoters Association (NACPA) filed its notice to appeal BMI’s victory in its rate court litigation over royalties paid to songwriters, composers, and publishers by the live concert industry. The court’s decision ended decades of below-market rates and set a new rate that is 138% higher than the previous one, appropriately reflecting the importance of music in the live concert experience. The decision also expanded the definition of the total revenue base to which the new rate is applied, taking into account the way modern promoters monetize concerts. This includes tickets sold directly onto the secondary market, servicing fees received by the promoters and revenues from box suites and VIP packages.
Mike O’Neill, President & CEO of BMI, stated:
“Given Live Nation, AEG and NACPA’s bizarre position throughout trial that concertgoers attend concerts for the experience of the staging, videos and lightshows, as opposed to the actual songs and music being performed, their appeal was not a surprise to BMI. For decades, the live concert industry has fought to keep rates suppressed. And even now, when they are making more money than ever, in more ways than ever, they are determined to deny songwriters and composers the fair value of their work, despite the fact that without their contributions, a concert wouldn’t even be possible. BMI will continue to fight on behalf of our affiliates, the creators of the music that is the very backbone of the live concert industry, to prevent that outcome.”