Musicians Making Lots Of Money, Money, Money…

from the but-wait... dept

Jeremiah writes “Amidst the public ballyhoo about how rampant P2P piracy is costing the music business its very life (gasp! NO!), BMI announced it collected a record level of revenue and royalty payout to its artist members. From their press release: “BMI has reported revenues of $673 million for the 2004 fiscal year, an increase of nearly $43 million, 6.8% over the prior year. Royalties of more than $573 million were distributed to our songwriters, composers and music publishers, an increase of $40 million or 7.5% from the previous year, and the most ever paid by an American PRO.” Another interesting tidbit: “During the period 1995-2004, BMI had an average annual revenue growth rate of 9%…” If I read this right, BMI has been reporting solid growth over the last nine years, which makes me question the industry’s claims about P2P. Either P2P ate into their growth (not mentioned), they found a way to cope with it (plausible), or it may actually help music sales. Whatever. Reminds me a bit of a spec I did for a life-insurance company’s radio ad: Money, Money, Money (mp3 file).”

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Musicians Making Lots Of Money, Money, Money…”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Jeremiah (user link) says:

The Curve

JD – that’s a good question. As a BMI member, i’ve known for years the potential existed for us lesser artists to be handing money to the B. Spears & Co. via BMI’s mystical royalty equation.
For instance, plays are rated on a market system, where markets are graded A-F. Someone who has 300 plays in an “A” market will be paid more than someone with 1000 plays in “D”, “E” or “F” markets. This would explain the persistence of payola (ahem: “independent radio promotion”) in the business, as being able to bump an artist into an “A” market holds vast commercial consequences.

bob says:

Revenue, royalty, and expense

I think I want to be a BMI executive. They took in 673M and distributed 573M, leaving 100M for expenses like collecting play information, lawyers, salaries, rent, and office parties. Given that most of their data collection is handled by the customers (e.g., radio stations, etc.), and the legal work that goes beyond a threatening letter is small, I’d think that office party budget would be pretty substantial. Of course, I may have underestimated the political contribution fund.

Xueilonox (user link) says:


Here is an older article from earlier this year that shows this isn’t really a recent trend.

Lots of good quotes but here is the one I like:

“The bottom hasn’t dropped out of the performing rights business,” [Frances W. Preston, the president of B.M.I.] said. “They look to us for their royalties because the record company royalties, in some cases, are almost nonexistent.”

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...