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Songwriters to Receive 138% Raise After BMI Wins Revenue Dispute

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
The new rate will be based on an expanded revenue base, factoring in tickets sold on the secondary market, servicing fees, and revenue gained from VIP packages.

Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) gained a massive win in its rates court dispute with Live Nation, a ruling that “ends decades of below-market rates for songwriters, composers and publishers in the live concert industry,” the company said. The decision, which will see BMI affiliates receive a rate that is 138% higher than the historical rate, was issued by Louis L. Stanton of the Southern District of New York.

The details of the ruling state that the new rate will be based on an expanded revenue base, forcing promoters to factor in things such as tickets sold directly on the secondary market, servicing fees for promoters, and revenue gained from suite/VIP packages.

“While we’re thrilled with this outcome, we find it incredibly disappointing that it took millions of dollars and years of litigation to get Live Nation, AEG and NACPA to finally pay songwriters, composers and publishers what they deserve,” BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill said.

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Live Nation representatives responded by saying that the revenue songwriters receive is going to come from the artist’s expenses, not the promoters.

“We advocated on behalf of artists to keep their costs down and managed to hold the increase to less than 1/3 of BMI’s proposed increase,” the Live Nation statement said. “This will cost the performers we work with approximately $15 million a year spread out over thousands of artists, and cost increases for Live Nation directly are not material.”

With this win under BMI’s belt, the company expressed this being a win for “below-market rates for songwriters, composers and publishers in the live concert industry.”

With this win under BMI’s belt, the company hopes to create a positive impact on newcomers in the music business regarding the royalties they receive for their live concert experiences in this new era.

“Today’s decision also underscores BMI’s continued mission to fight on behalf of our affiliates, no matter how long it takes, to ensure they receive fair value for their creative work,” O’Neil said.

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