BMI Distributes $1.118 Billion In Songwriter Royalties, an All-Time High

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According to a new report from BMI, the company has surpassed revenue records for the fiscal year ending on June 30.

The company distributed more than $1.118 billion in royalties to songwriters, publishers, and composers.  That’s an increase of 9%, or $95 million, more than the previous year.

The report says that the $1.118 billion figure includes both domestic and international royalties, as well as direct deals that BMI brokers with publishers. Total distribution from these direct deals was $53 million this year, which is a $17 million increase compared to last year.

BMI says direct deals account for around 5% of the company’s total distribution.

Another contributing factor to this record-setting revenue growth is the drop in overhead costs. BMI’s overhead is at its lowest in the company’s history with 90 cents of every dollar returned directly to publishers, songwriters, and composers.

The organization is also pointing to substantial growth in the digital sector of the industry.

BMI says its digital revenue grew 32% compared to last year, raking in $215 million in royalties thanks to deals with companies like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, and SoundCloud.  BMI says digital revenue now accounts for 24% of the company’s total domestic revenue.

General licensing made a 5% gain compared to last year, posting $156 million.  It accounts for around 18% of BMI’s total domestic revenue and comes from businesses like restaurants, bars, and hotels licensing music.

Total domestic revenue for the company grew 5% this year to a record $880 million.  BMI’s international revenue is up 9% compared to the previous year with $319 million in revenues generated.

One interesting final point is that the company processed over 1.7 trillion performances in the fiscal year, which is a 23% increase over the previous year.  In total, 97.7% of those tracked performance points were digital, which highlights the need for fair royalty distribution to songwriters and other professionals.