ASCAP gets cable TV boost

While overall payments and revenues at ASCAP remained relatively flat, the performance rights group logged substantial increases in revenue from cable TV, according to unaudited 2012 financial figures the org presented on Monday.

In total, ASCAP managed to distribute more royalties to songwriters, publishers and copyright holders than last year, despite accruing less in total revenue: Annual revenue of $941 million represented a 4.5% decline from 2011, while total royalty payments accounted for $827 million, a slight gain of about $3 million from 2011.

Owing to a growth in cable TV and a number of license agreements with cablers, ASCAP’s revenue from cable television increased 20% over last year, representing $204 million in income. In contrast, revenue from network television was down slightly, at $104 million.

ASCAP acknowledged the impact of a DMX rate court settlement upon its decreased revenues. It credited itself, however, with reducing operating expense, which fell to 11.3% from 12% last year.

ASCAP’s president and chairman Paul Williams pointed toward the org’s advocacy efforts in a statement, saying, “We are navigating in a complex, rapidly changing environment in which huge, cash-rich technology companies are developing business models that fly fast and free with our copyrights. Only a thriving community of songwriters and composers — who can make a decent living from their work — can ensure a vibrant music ecosystem going forward.”

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