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Radio’s Deal With BMI Means Credit for Many Stations

Industry and licensing organization end litigation, return to 'percentage of revenue'

Many commercial radio broadcasters in the United States will see a credit balance on their BMI billing statements for the rest of the year, after an industry body signed a new seven-year agreement with the licensing organization.

The Radio Music License Committee settled terms regarding fees to publicly perform millions of songs in the BMI repertoire through 2016. The agreement is retroactive to the beginning of 2010; it involves authors, composers and publishers, not performers.

“The settlement, which will require federal court approval, would bring an end to the two-and-a-half years of litigation between the parties,” they stated.

According to the announcement, “In broad terms, it features a return to a percentage-of-revenue fee structure and addresses the range of new media platforms in which the radio industry is increasingly engaged.”

Chairman Ed Christian called it “a vote of confidence towards our industry that BMI has agreed to return to the historic percentage-of-revenue fee structure. Once the agreement with BMI is approved by the court, radio broadcasters will continue to nurture their longstanding relationships with the performing rights organizations.” A BMI official said in the announcement, “While fees will be lower than the prior final agreement, the return to a percentage-of-revenue license will allow us to grow BMI revenues as the radio industry rebounds.”

The deal includes a $70.5 million industry “fee credit” against past industry payments. New license forms will be made available to stations following court approval.

Read details and terms of the RMLC/BMI deal