ASCAP Annual Revenue Reaches $1.335 Billion Despite Nearly 10% Decline In Foreign Income

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The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) turned in a roughly .60 percent year-over-year revenue increase in 2021 and distributed approximately $1.254 billion to member creators during the 12-month stretch.

The 108-year-old performance rights organization (PRO) revealed these and other financial specifics in its newly released 2021 Annual Report. ASCAP revenue came in at a record high of $1.335 billion last year – up slightly from 2020’s $1.327 billion, as mentioned, and up about $320 million from 2015’s $1.014 billion. The figure has grown each year since 2015, though the increase across 2020 and 2021 marks the smallest YoY improvement of the seven-year period.

Within the 2021 total, “revenue from U.S. licensed performances” cracked $1 billion for the first time, higher-ups disclosed, as domestic revenue, at $1.011 billion, hiked $42.5 million YoY. However, revenue from foreign societies fell by almost 10 percent YoY, to $323.5 million, “due largely to business closures and the lack of vaccinations,” ASCAP said.

Execs also indicated that international distributions had jumped by $19 million YoY despite the falloff in foreign payments, purportedly “due to ASCAP’s technological and distribution process efficiencies and timing.”

Meanwhile, overall ASCAP distributions finished at $1.254 billion in 2021, as highlighted at the outset, up $41 million YoY and representing about 93.9 percent of revenue. As part of the figure, “domestic distributions of licensed and administered performances amounted to $912.6 million” – up $22 million YoY and accounting for roughly 72.7 percent of 2021 distributions.

On the membership side, north of 58,000 individuals joined ASCAP in 2021, per the PRO. (The New York City-headquartered entity relayed last year that 2020 had also delivered around 58,000 new members.) Among ASCAP’s over 850,000 members are Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney, Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa, the estate of Jimi Hendrix, Travis Barker, and Lil Uzi Vert.

The 2021 fiscal year of Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) concluded this past June, and the PRO announced in September that it had achieved revenue of $1.409 billion, with $1.335 billion (coincidentally, the same amount that ASCAP brought in during 2021) in distributions.

Finally, Irving Azoff’s Global Music Rights (GMR) and the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) settled their long-running legal battle last month. The RMLC represents more than 10,000 stateside radio stations, and GMR’s catalog includes works from Ava Max, Bad Bunny, The Killers, and Eddie Vedder, to name just some.

Addressing the marathon courtroom confrontation’s conclusion in a statement, RMLC chairman Ed Atsinger III said that the settlement “represents a shared desire by both sides to find a way for radio stations and GMR to work together on a long-term basis without repeatedly resorting to litigation.”