BMI breaks records with revenue up 7% in 2019

BMI breaks records with revenue up 7% in 2019

BMI has broken revenue records again. For the fiscal year ending June 30, it collected $1.283 billion (£1.04bn), up 7% over the previous year. 

BMI distributed and administered $1.196bn (£970m) - also up 7% - to its songwriters, composers and publishers, its highest distribution ever. The results mark the most reported public performance revenues and highest royalty distributions of any music rights organisation in the world, according to BMI.

BMI president/CEO Mike O’Neill said: “BMI values the trust our affiliates place in us, and we are gratified to once again generate record revenues on their behalf. Our achievements are a direct result of the unrivalled creativity of the songwriters and composers we represent and the worldwide popularity of their music. We always strive to do better, and we will continue to work hard to champion the rights of our creators and protect the value of their copyrights.”

The $1.196bn in total distributions includes domestic and international royalties, as well as royalties from direct deals that BMI administers on behalf of its publishers. Distributions from direct deals grew $9m (£7.3m) year-on-year to $62m (£50.3m), holding steady at 5% of BMI’s total distributions.

When factoring in the impact of direct deal administration, BMI continues to distribute nearly 90% of collections back to its songwriters, composers and publishers. 

BMI’s total domestic revenue, encompassing digital, media and general licensing, reached $943m (£764.7m), up 7% year-on-year.  That growth was driven by a 22% increase in digital revenue to $262m (£212.5m). BMI digital collections benefited from new deals in the growing video-on-demand streaming market, including Twitch and Amazon channels.

General licensing, which is generated from businesses like bars and restaurants, hotels and fitness centres, also posted record results of $169m (£137m, up 8%).  

Revenue from cable and satellite sources generated the largest portion of BMI’s domestic revenue at 30%, while traditional radio and television accounted for 24% of the overall domestic total. BMI’s digital revenue has now grown to encompass 28% of the total domestic revenue portfolio and is now the second biggest contributor to that total.

BMI’s international revenue also reached an all-time high of $340m (£275.7m), an increase of 7% on the previous year.  BMI’s repertoire of film, television and songs helped the company achieve these record results despite a negative currency impact.

BMI saw its affiliate membership surpass one million for the first time ever, with over 90,000 new songwriters, composers and publishers joining the organization this year. Notable new signings included Lil Nas X, Kendrick Lamar, Brandi Carlile, Willie Colón, and Sarah Schachner, while agreements were extended with Imagine Dragons, Eminem, Shakira, John Legend, Harry Gregson-Williams, Eric Church, Pink, Rihanna, Ben Decter, J Balvin, Hozier, Halsey, Horacio Palencia and more.

BMI processed 2.19 trillion performances in its fiscal year, a 29% increase. Of that total, 98% were digital performances, which BMI said reinforced the "critical need for fair compensation for songwriters, whose musical contributions provide the very foundation of the streaming services’ businesses" - a nod to the current row over Spotify and other DSPs' appealing the CRB royalties rate rise.

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