What Does BMI’s Commitment to Advanced Technology Mean for Songwriters?

Posted in MusicWorld on April 16, 2013

Jim King, BMI Senior Vice President, Business Operations and Technology, oversees all areas of technology innovation, operations, and product development at BMI. In addition to his other significant contributions to streamlining BMI’s operational platform, Jim helped to earn BMI’s placement in InformationWeek’s list of the top 500 technology innovators for two consecutive years. So, who better to ask? How does BMI’s commitment to innovation benefit songwriters?

1. What is BMI’s philosophy on innovation and how did it evolve?

BMI was born out of innovation and founded in 1939 as an innovative alternative to a static music broadcast licensing market.  This innovative business model positioned BMI to be the first to offer representation to songwriters of Blues, Country, Jazz, R&B, Gospel, Folk, Latin and, ultimately, Rock & Roll.  Throughout its history, BMI has been the industry leader in innovating rights management and applying innovative technologies to successfully promote the value of music and ensure maximum compensation for music creators.

2. BMI recently launched a new corporate positioning campaign with three new slogans and a refreshed logo.  What does the “Powered By” slogan mean and how does it affect BMI’s core businesses?

Since its earliest days, BMI has been a world leader in music rights management and a committed champion of the songwriters that create the world’s music.  BMI’s strength and success are ‘Powered By’ the people and the songs that are BMI – the world’s premier and most influential songwriters, the world’s most recognized and loved songs, and a team of employees that is deeply knowledgeable and passionate about music and the rights of creators.

‘Powered By’ also refers to the operational platform and work steps that go into delivering value to our customers in the services we offer.

3. BMI has a number of products and services.  What are the improvements to BMI Mobile and how will songwriters and publishers benefit from them?

The new BMI Mobile provides faster access to information and self-service options for BMI songwriters and composers. This version of BMI Mobile was built using native development techniques to increase the overall speed and response time. BMI Mobile now includes complete support for all BMI Live functions, including management of performances, setlists, and bands. The Home screen of BMI Mobile has been refined specifically for BMI songwriters and composers with image galleries and videos of current BMI events and a selection of articles focused on music industry career advice.

BMI Mobile users can also access a large number of functions that provide fingertip access to their Royalty Statements and Tax Documents, as well as account maintenance capabilities in areas such as Direct Deposit, Paperless Statement, and Contact Info. BMI Mobile also includes a full listing of information related to compositions users have registered with BMI in the Works Catalog area. There’s also a section in BMI Mobile that provides quick access to phone numbers and e-mail addresses of each BMI regional office. The new BMI Mobile is a fast, capable, and accessible tool for BMI affiliates that is never out of reach.

4. How has the functionality of BMI Live been impacted by improvements to BMI Mobile and how is it easier to use BMI Live?

BMI Mobile now supports all BMI Live functions to easily manage performance submissions, setlist creation and management, and band management. Actions taken in any of these areas by BMI Live users on the web are reflected in BMI Mobile, and vice-versa.

Additional functions were also added to the BMI Live area of BMI Mobile that utilizes the GPS capabilities available in smartphones today. BMI Mobile users can now “tag” a BMI Live venue where they performed, and complete the rest of their performance submission at a later time, without additional searching or typing to find the venue’s address. Since the launch of the new BMI Mobile, the GPS tagging function for BMI Live performance submissions has been one of the most used functions, proving user acceptance of BMI’s commitment to provide speed and convenience to BMI Mobile and BMI Live users.

5. Is an affiliate’s account and direct deposit information that is stored online secure?

Extremely secure! We utilize the highest quality third party partners for storing SSN, credit card information, and bank information - the same partners that power the mission critical operations of the major credit card companies.

6. What tools and services do our songwriters, composers, and affiliates ask for the most and have we addressed these requests recently and to what extent?

BMI understands the importance of building products and services that meet the real needs of our songwriters, composers, and affiliates. Easy access to self-service options to register works, view or change account information, submit performances, or obtain industry information and career advice. Sometimes that means developing new tools and services altogether and other times that means making our existing tools and services better. We’ve begun by redesigning our core products and services to be faster, easier to use, and self-serve. The new releases of BMI Live and BMI Mobile are evidence of this commitment to our songwriters, composers, and affiliates.  We’re also working to integrate better analytics to ensure we accurately measure what’s being used or what’s not. Lastly, we’re building in feedback mechanism so that our affiliates can directly communicate what their needs are and provide suggestions for how to improve our products and services.