BMI achieves rising distributions to musicians; seeks buyer

Rights management and revenue distribution company BMI has released its annual report (HERE). While the public document does not contain a detailed financial breakout, some success metrics are described by President and CEO Michael O’Neill.

BMI is a PRO (Performance Rights Organization) and licenses music for public performance of all kinds, representing composers and songwriters.

The broad sweep of O’Neill’s opening essay documents a picture of rising distribution to its creative clientele. 2023 distributions are on track to be 11% higher than the 2022 payouts, he observed. Each quarter of this year has shown a year-over-year increase. O’Neill projected that the November payout will be over $400-million.


“Our goal is to distribute 85% of licensing revenue to our songwriters, composers and publishers and retain approximately 15% to cover our expenses/overhead (which have historically run around 10%) and a modest profit margin.” –President and CEO Michael O’Neill.


O’neill noted that the stated profit margin is “well below the margins taken by comparable for-profit businesses in our industry.” He offered assurance that if BMI borrows money to bolster its finances, repayments would come from “retained profits,” and not from distributions to musicians.

BMI is shopping for a buyer, and O’Neill provided an assurance of progress, without much detail.


“We are all aware of the conversations taking place about a possible sale of BMI. I can confirm that we are engaging in discussions with a potential new partner, and while our conversations are ongoing and have been very productive, no deal has been signed at this time.”



Brad Hill