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BMI reports record revenue as streaming’s share grows

The New York Times writes today that one area of a troubled music industry that’s seen consistent revenue growth, and may be poised for more, is songwriter and publisher royalties, collected by groups like BMI and ASCAP.

Webcasters and radio pay these groups when performing music on-air and online. These royalties are not the same as those paid to copyright owners of sound recordings.

Today BMI announced $944 million in revenue for its fiscal year ending in June, a 5% year-over-year increase, and a new all-time high.

Digital services paid BMI $57 million (which includes not only Pandora and Spotify but Hulu, Netflix, and others). While digital was just 2% of BMI domestic revenue in 2009, it’s up to 9% now.

Last week (see RAIN here) a federal judge ruled publishers may not withhold certain rights from the ASCAP collective in order to wring more money out of services like Pandora. The decision does not directly affect BMI, says the paper.

BMI announced it’s paid $814 million to rights holders in its recent fiscal year, also a new high. Since 2003, the paper repots, BMI’s revenue has gone up about 50%.

ASCAP said in March its 2012 revenue was $942 million, down more than 4%.

Read more in The New York Times here.

Brad Hill

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