This article written by Ben Sisario opens details to a very important occurrence in the music industry in the last year; digital sales have finally reached an annual revenue of 1 billion, according to BMI’s Annual Revenue Report. The article reports that BMI (Broadcast Music INC.), collected 1.013 BILLION in revenue, up 4 percent from the previous year. This report beats their competitor ASCAP’s report, which claimed an annual revenue of 1.001 billion.
BMI, however, paid its musicians slightly less in royalties than Ascap, distributing $877 million to its members, while ascot paid its members a distributed amount of $883 million. A spokeswoman for BMI defended this by referencing the company’s legal costs, specifically citing the lawsuit against pandora and other streaming systems for their inaction in paying for royalties and the like. While this lawsuit is an important move towards songwriters’ protection of their rights, is the company really defending their rights by denying them in the short term now? A federal judge ruled in may that Pandora’s rate for using music owned and distributed or managed by BMI should increase from 1.75% royalty rate to a 2.5% royalty rate- a huge victory for musicians and the beginning of a musician-lead revolution.
Digital sources- such as online streaming services and downloading services- increased hugely within the BMI revenue report. The company had a 65 percent increase in royalty rates collected from services like Pandora and Spotify. As stated in the article, digital streaming makes up almost 14 percent of BMI’s overall revenue, when in 2010 it made up barely 3%. This could be because the companies at the time could get away with dodging royalty rates and living off subscription fees or advertising revenue. In these results you can see a direct cause and effect of the lawsuit, and the growing popularity in online streaming services.