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BMI Expands Live Concert Royalties Distributions

BMI has expanded its tracking of live music performances to include smaller concert events, distributing royalties to additional songwriters, composers and music publishers.

The performing right organization will now pay performance royalties on the top 300 concert tours, events and festivals in America, as determined by Pollstar research, on a quarterly basis. The first such distribution was March 29.

The new distribution model has identified nearly twice as many song titles for payment in the expanded list of tours and events.  The change benefited nearly 800 additional songwriters and composers, along with their related publishers, in the March distribution.

“BMI is always striving to enhance and expand its royalty distributions utilizing new and emerging technologies and information-gathering techniques,” said Michael O’Neill, BMI Senior Vice President, Repertoire and Licensing.

“The expansion of the live pop concert distribution is the result of an on-going effort at BMI to capture information on musical performances in additional venues on a more frequent basis, thereby increasing the number of titles eligible for payment each quarter. The end result is the inclusion of many more songwriters and music publishers sharing in this segment of the distribution,” O’Neill said.

For the first time, BMI’s royalty distribution included certain qualifying performances identified among Pollstar’s top 300 tours and events at venues such as the Bluebird Nightclub in Bloomington, IN; Barns at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA; B.B. King Blues Club in New York, NY; and Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, CA.

Qualifying performances at additional small venues, which appeared previously as well as currently in BMI royalty distributions, include The Swamp in Fort Walton Beach, FL; Jupiter Bar & Grill in Tuscaloosa, AL; The Trocadero in Philadelphia, PA; Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT; Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC; the Knitting Factory in Spokane, WA; among many others.  Performances in such venues qualifying for BMI royalty distributions change each quarter, corresponding to the top 300 tours and events in Pollstar’s ranking.

Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI) is an American performing right organization that represents more than 400,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music and more than 6.5 million works. BMI reported $905 million for its 2009 fiscal year in performing right collections. BMI has represented the most popular and beloved music from around the world for 70 years. The U.S. corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.

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