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BMI and US radio industry agree interim royalty rate

By | Published on Monday 27 February 2017


US song rights collecting society BMI has agreed an interim rate with the Radio Music License Committee, which represents 7000 radio stations in America.

As previously reported, both of the big performing rights societies representing publishers and songwriters Stateside – BMI and ASCAP – spent a bunch of last year negotiating with the radio industry over what rates stations should pay between 2017 and 2022 for the right to air songs repped by the two societies. ASCAP reached a deal but BMI did not.

With 2017 then inconveniently getting under way, the RMLC put in a request for an interim rate while negotiations were ongoing which was below what its member stations had previously paid – so 1.4% of revenues instead of 1.7%. The RMLC argued that BMI’s current market share justified the lower rate. The society then said that proposal was “based on incomplete and incorrect information regarding BMI’s share of radio performances”.

The matter went to court, with a preliminary hearing taking place earlier this month. But now the RMLC has agreed that its stations will pay the interim rate proposed by BMI until a final royalty is agreed.

Confirming this, BMI’s SVP Of Licensing, Mike Steinberg, told reporters: “We are pleased that the RMLC recognised the value that BMI music brings to the radio industry across all of its platforms and agreed to BMI’s proposed interim rate. Protecting the income of BMI’s songwriters, composers and music publishers is of paramount importance, and we will continue to pursue a new final rate that reflects current and future marketplace data and is in the best interests of our affiliates”.