The reality that music royalty disbursement platform BMI is now a public company after EIGHTY FOUR YEARS of being a non profit has PROFOUND implications for the music business going forward.

by | Sep 11, 2023 | Music history, Music industry news, New music, New music releases

With the advent of streaming and it’s explosive growth Y to Y and the problems it caused in regards to the paltry sums creators were being paid, this development should be a boon to those creators.


The question is how does a formerly benign non for profit FOR DECADES turn around to a for profit model and jump start it’s static revenue and increase payments to it’s holders? The following articles explain the parameters of the deal where VC is paying around $1.7 billion dollars for an entity that has no assets but merely a base of songwriters on contract to distribute THEIR royalties on assets the creators own.

Ironically the “owners” of BMI are the very media entities generating the content from which the royalties are derived which raises the question if VC pays billions for the platform, in theory the owners get a rebate on the royalties paid out? And will the songwriters and creators get a pay out in this confusing scenario?

And how does BMI generate more revenue to sate their artistic stakeholders over and above current levels?. Industry insiders we have access to have alluded to the fact that escalated enforcement of rousting “bootleg” product from the marketplace is part of the game plan.

The explosion of bootleg recordings in the DVD and CD realm has continued unabated, many from overseas outlets selling on platforms like E Bay . And considering copyright infringement violations can range anywhere from $750 to $30,000 dollars EACH, it certainly appears to be an inevitable by product of the BMI for profit business model evolution.

Seeing as the Gracenote database holds all of the licensed product out there in one spot, in theory bots could be deployed across the Internet written with a targeted algorithm to ferret out the non Gracenote posted product and this would accomplish 2 things for BMI in their newly annointed for profit status.

First , from a legal standpoint it is a revenue generator from the violations revenue generated by serving the cease and desists on the infringers, confiscating their product and eliminating the platforms cannabilizing the artist revenue stream as well as collection of the damages.

Second, by eliminating these platforms and confiscating their product by executing law enforcement on a local level coupled with a Federal component in all jurisdictions with search warrants to find the product, in theory it should increase the legitimate outlets cash flow by redirecting some of the unauthorized discretionary income being spent to them and by extension increase artist renumerations.

The looming Google anti trust case in Washington also factors into this as if You Tube is forced to be spun off then cleansing that platform of unlicensed posted product could be a multi million dollar payout all on it”s own’

For the record has been exploring ways by developing a platform to allow for new local musical artists to navigate thru this labyrinth of legalities to publish and protect their music in this brave new world of streaming. Stay tuned.