ASCAP Posts Record 2023 Revenue and Distributions, Touts Status As the Only PRO ‘To Operate on a Not-for-Profit Basis’

ascap financials 2023
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ascap financials 2023
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ASCAP has revealed its 2023 financials, including record revenue of $1.74 billion, up over 14 percent from 2022. Photo Credit: ASCAP

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has reported record revenue of $1.74 billion for 2023, when member distributions are said to have approached $1.6 billion.

ASCAP, now touting itself as the lone U.S. performance rights organization (PRO) “to operate on a not-for-profit basis” following BMI’s for-profit pivot, unveiled its 2023 financials today. Last year’s mentioned revenue total, specifically $1.737 billion, represents a roughly $215 million and 14.1 percent boost from 2022.

Behind the sum, ASCAP identified $1.33 billion in domestic licensing revenue, up $149 million and 12.6 percent year over year (YoY). Meanwhile, streaming revenue spiked 21 percent YoY in 2023, “general licensing revenue” improved by 23 percent, radio turned in a 10 percent increase, and the audio-visual side achieved three percent growth, per ASCAP.

On the membership front, the 110-year-old PRO noted the 2023 addition of 66,000 members, among them Jack Antonoff, PinkPantheress, and Jared Leto, for a total in excess of 960,000.

Regarding ASCAP’s remaining 2023 revenue, international performances delivered $410 million or so (up $66 million and 19.3 percent YoY), per the PRO, which also pointed to $1.592 billion made available to members for distribution on the year (up $204 million and 14.7 percent YoY).

That $1.59 billion tranche includes $1.16 billion from domestic sources, $375 million from abroad, and $53 million from the PRO’s Songwize royalty admin service. Predictably, given the aforementioned emphasis placed on its non-profit status, ASCAP drove home for good measure that it has a 10 percent “overhead rate.”

“ASCAP’s 10% overhead rate means that 90 cents of every dollar collected was paid to ASCAP members,” the entity communicated, “resulting in the highest value exchange applied to the lowest overhead rate provided to creators and publishers of any U.S. PRO.”

Addressing the results, ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews added: “We are delivering industry-leading technical innovation, legislative advocacy and revenue growth that solely benefits our members, not outside investors or shareholders.

“As we like to say, private equity never wrote an iconic love song which is why we fight purely for songwriters, composers and publishers, not for those who use creators and their works of art for their own profits or to secure their own debt. ASCAP differs from others because our mission and purpose is clear and unique,” proceeded the ASCAP head of about nine years.

Earlier in February, the previously noted Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) officially completed its sale to New Mountain Capital – with “$100 million of the proceeds” set to reach “affiliates,” according to higher-ups.