Music Business

BMI Reports Record Revenue, Royalty Distributions

BMI is reporting record revenue and royalty distributions for the fiscal year ending June 30.

The PRO collected $1.311 billion in revenue, a $28 million increase over the previous year and distributed $1.233 billion to its affiliated songwriters, composers and publishers despite the COVID 19 pandemic.

That’s up 3% or $37 million from last year and marks the fifth consecutive year that BMI is delivering the highest reported public performance revenues and royalty distributions of any music rights organization in the world. 

$60M COVID Loss

BMI estimates that it absorbed $60 million in negative impact to its revenues due to the COVID -19.  Strong growth in the digital and radio helped weather a decline in revenue from shuttered concert venues, bars, restaurants, fitness centers, retail establishments.

“We were thrilled to be able to distribute our highest royalties ever and deliver them earlier than scheduled to help ease the concerns of our creators and publishers during this challenging time” said BMI President & CEO Mike O’Neill.”

The $1.233 billion total in distributions includes domestic and international royalties and adistributions from direct deals that BMI administers. Those direct deals of $71 million, represent an increase of $9 million over last year and approximately 6% of BMI’s total distribution.

Digital #1 As TV, Radio Revenue Grows

Revenue from digital sources were 32% of BMI’s domestic total with $304 million, an increase of $42 million, or 16%, compared to last year. This marks the first time the digital category was #1. During the period, BMI entered into new digital audiovisual licensing agreements with Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock this year.

Total domestic media licensing revenue, comprised of cable & satellite, broadcast television and radio, came in at $527 million, an increase of $14 million, or 3%, over last year. Of this, cable and satellite-derived income remained the largest contributor at $271 million. Radio revenues totaled $155 million, $27 million higher than last year, or an increase of 21%, thanks to BMI’s rate court settlement with the Radio Music Licensing Committee (RMLC) that resulted in a new agreement and retroactive payments. Broadcast television revenue came in at $101 million, flat to last year.

General licensing, along with other income, came in at $130 million, down $39 million, or 23%, from last year. BMI’s international revenue grew to $350 million, up $10 million, or 3%, over last year. This figure would have been $9 million more were it not for a negative foreign exchange impact.

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