BMI today announced record-breaking revenue and royalty distributions for its fiscal year ended June 30. BMI generated total revenues of $1.013 billion, the highest in the company’s history and the most public performance revenue generated for songwriters, composers and publishers by any music rights organization in the world. In addition, BMI distributed and administered $877 million to its affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers, a nearly 4.5% increase over last year and the company’s largest distribution ever.
BMI operates on a non-profit-making basis and returns approximately 87% of all revenue to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.
“These are phenomenal results for BMI and underscore the value we bring to our community of songwriters, composers and publishers,” said Mike O’Neill, President and CEO, BMI. “They’re even more impressive when you consider the negative impact to our international revenues brought on by the strengthening dollar,” he added. “We will continue to work hard on behalf of the more than 700,000 affiliates we have the privilege to represent, not only to make sure they can continue to earn a living doing what they love, but also through our ongoing efforts with Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice to rewrite the rules so they make sense for today’s digital world.”
BMI’s digital revenue exceeded $100 million, the first U.S. PRO to achieve this important milestone. Digital revenue increased 65% over last year, which was the largest category increase for the company. Revenue sources included Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube, among many others.
Revenue from all media licensing, including radio, television and cable and satellite entertainment, also saw record levels at $484 million, with cable and satellite entertainment accounting for the largest portion of BMI’s domestic revenue for the second consecutive year. Additionally, general licensing revenue, including license fees from bars, hotels, fitness facilities and restaurants, along with other income, achieved a record high $137 million. General licensing added more than 14,000 new businesses to its already vast portfolio.
International revenues came in at a strong $292 million, despite significant economic challenges overseas. While down 5% in USD from last year, the company overcame a $28 million negative impact to international revenues caused by lower foreign exchange rates due to the strengthening dollar.
BMI processed nearly 600 billion performances, more than 500 billion of which were digital, a 25% increase from last year. More than 1.2 million unique musical works were identified across the various digital services.
BMI’s historic revenue performance comes in the same year the company prevailed in a groundbreaking rate-setting case against Pandora. After a nearly two-year legal battle over the value of the BMI repertoire to the streaming music giant, the court agreed that BMI’s proposed rate of 2.5% of Pandora’s gross revenue was the more appropriate reflection of the value of BMI’s music. Importantly, the decision established that publisher marketplace agreements can be taken into account as benchmarks when determining rates, an important step forward in valuing music today.