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ASCAP Royalty Distributions Up $24 Million

Says operating expenses up due to Pandora rate court proceeding

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers distributed more than $851.2 million in royalties to its members in 2013. That’s up some $24 million from 2012.

Domestic distributions totaled $527.9 million, up 6.1%.

ASCAP says its revenues remained strong at $944.4 million, led by a $13.2 million increase in domestic receipts boosting ASCAP’s financial growth, primarily from its new media and general licensing areas.

However, its operating expenses rose, standing at 12.4% in 20013, versus 11.3% the prior year “due to the litigation expenses incurred as a result of ASCAP’s ongoing rate court proceeding with Pandora, which is seeking to lower the royalties it pays to songwriters and composers,” according to ASCAP.

ASCAP says it’s licensing music to “hundreds of thousands of enterprises” who use it in their business — from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet and mobile services. The organization has expanded its satellite radio survey, saying this has resulted in 18,000 additional members getting paid and an additional three million performances processed in one quarter.

Through the use of pattern recognition technology, ASCAP is now identifying musical works — mostly instrumental — on radio, TV and cable, even when voice-overs or sound effects are mixed with the music, increasing the number of performances tracked.

Public performance royalties are becoming a more vital source of income in the digital age, says ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento. He adds that the organization believes it’s time to update the regulations that govern music licensing. “ASCAP is working to shape a future which preserves the enormous benefits of the collective licensing model, while better reflecting how technology is changing the way people listen to music and the competitive landscape in which we operate.”