BMI has broken revenue records for the third consecutive year, generating $1.13 billion (£857 million) to the end of its 2017 fiscal year. The company distributed and administered $1.023 billion (£775m) to its songwriters, composers and publishers, representing a 10% increase over last year.
The US collection society said the results mark the most public performance revenue and highest royalty distributions for any music rights organisation in the world.
Mike O’Neill, president and CEO, BMI, said: “No matter how much the industry continues to evolve, BMI remains the leader in supporting songwriters, composers and publishers and maximizing their royalties across all platforms. We are thrilled to have been able to achieve these record distributions, but we still believe our affiliates deserve more. We thank them for entrusting their music to us and will continue to work hard on their behalf to secure the full and fair value of their creative work.”
The company’s total domestic revenue, encompassing digital, media, and general licensing, came in at a record $836m (£633.4m), a 7% increase over last year. Digital revenue saw its highest performance to date, up 7% to $163m (£123.5m). Media Licensing came in at $524m (£397m), a $32m increase over last year driven by growth in the terrestrial radio, cable and satellite radio categories.
General Licensing, which includes fees from businesses like restaurants, bars, hotels, shopping centres and fitness facilities, along with other income, grew by 7% to $149m (£112.8m). The category added 13,000 new businesses to its growing portfolio.
International revenues grew to $294m (£222.7m), an increase of 7% over the prior year.
The $1.023 billion in total distributions was comprised of domestic and international royalties, as well as royalties from direct deals that BMI administers on behalf of its publishers. Those deals, which account for approximately 3% of BMI’s total distribution, helped the company achieve its record payments to affiliates.
O’Neill added, “While the administration of direct digital deals is relatively new, we’re seeing the benefits across the board. BMI generates new business, our publishers benefit from our distribution expertise, and our affiliates continue to receive their royalties from a trusted source. It’s a smart solution for everyone involved.”
BMI processed nearly 1.4 trillion performances this year, 40% more than last year. This includes both audio and audiovisual performances, of which 1.35 trillion were digital.
BMI operates on a non-profit making basis, returning approximately 88% of all revenue to the musical creators and copyright owners the company represents.
By Charlie Macnamara