BMI’s revenues surged by more than 80 percent and royalty distributions increased by almost 90 percent during the first decade of the 21st century, while the overall U.S. economy remained stagnant during that same period, with The Washington Post reporting that gross domestic product increased by less than 20% and household net worth declined by 4 percent,
Not all areas of the music industry have fared so well during the past 10 years, however. Nielsen SoundScan data indicate that album sales declined 52 percent between 2000 and 2009, with a 12.7 percent drop in the last year alone. A recent New York Times article notes that brick-and-mortar music retailers have been particularly hard hit, with HMV, Tower and Virgin closing all of their U.S. outlets.
According to Nielsen SoundScan statistics, BMI songwriter/artists held down the five top sales slots for the decade, led by Eminem, with the Beatles, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith and Britney Spears following in the two-through-five slots, respectively. BMI music-makers were also responsible for four of the five top-selling albums of the past year, with Taylor Swift holding the top two slots, followed by Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga.
Additional data show BMI songwriters holding four of the five top slots on a list of the decade’s most-played songs, with Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me” in the #1 slot, and cuts by Lifehouse, Faith Hill and 3 Doors Down in the three-through-five positions. In the emerging mobile-music category, BMI writers dominated the SoundScan Mastertones chart for 2009, boasting seven of the top 10 positions, led by Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em’s “Kiss Me Thru the Phone.” Other BMI songwriters in the top 10 included Jamie Foxx, T.I., Black Eyed Peas, Kid Rock, Kanye West and Jason Aldean.