BMI Officially Completes $100 Million Affiliate Payout Following Sale, Targets ‘A Bright New Future With New Mountain Capital’

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BMI president and CEO Mike O’Neill. Photo Credit: Broadcast Music, Inc.

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) says it’s completed the previously announced $100 million payout to member songwriters, composers, and publishers.

The for-profit performance rights organization (PRO) just recently unveiled the $100 million payout’s completion, which we highlighted on Wednesday. For background, November of 2023 saw the ASCAP rival BMI confirm its long-rumored sale. Simultaneously, the New Mountain Capital-owned PRO indicated that it had allocated $100 million of the involved revenue to its songwriter and publisher affiliates.

Last month, the New Mountain Capital sale officially wrapped, evidently setting the stage for the once-off $100 million payment. BMI, which represents the work of about 1.4 million members, said it aimed “to be as inclusive as possible” with the distribution.

Running with that point, the PRO in a top-level look at the underlying process pointed to an analysis of members’ compensation between 2019 and 2023. Each current BMI affiliate with earnings surpassing a “minimum threshold of $500” – international and domestic revenue across the mentioned half-decade stretch, that is – was eligible for a piece of the $100 million pie, the company relayed.

Additionally, “members of international societies whose music is licensed through BMI in the U.S.” were also eligible, as were songwriters and composers no longer affiliated with the PRO but with works (generating at least $500 over the relevant period) still under the BMI banner.

While BMI only scratched the surface of the payout’s details – it’s unclear exactly how much high-profile members took home – eligible affiliates were grouped into “tiers” based upon “total earnings history over the five-year” stretch. “All songwriters and composers who fell within the same tier received the same payment,” the ELVIS Act proponent spelled out.

Lastly, in terms of available details, the $100 million tranche was split 50/50 between songwriters/composers and publishers, according to BMI. Regarding publisher-to-publisher admin deals, “the administering company will receive the payment on behalf of the original publisher,” the PRO disclosed.

And on the catalog-sale front, for divestments that occurred between 2019 and 2023, payments were “prorated and split between the new and previous owners,” BMI communicated. Addressing the one-time distribution, BMI president and CEO Mike O’Neill touched upon his business’s anticipated “bright new future with New Mountain Capital.”

“It’s especially moving that our former shareholders closed out their chapter at BMI in this meaningful way,” O’Neill said, “and I’m gratified that we were able to deliver these special funds on their behalf. As we embark on a bright new future with New Mountain Capital, we’re extremely excited to have the support and resources to explore new opportunities and build incredible value for our affiliates.”

Of course, it’ll be worth closely monitoring these efforts “to explore new opportunities and build incredible value,” with related initiatives presumably set to ramp up in 2024. Meanwhile, the aforementioned ASCAP, now emphasizing its non-profit status, reported record 2023 revenue and distributions last month.