BMI to distribute sky-high royalties

Music group posts climb in revenues

BMI will distribute to songwriters, composers and copyright owners a record $732 million in royalties for its 2006-07 fiscal year, up 8% from the previous year.

The music performing-rights org also posted record-setting revenues of more than $839 million, up 7% from the prior year. Totals are the highest annual revenues and royalty distributions ever reported by a performing-rights society. BMI’s overhead dropped to 12.7%.

Rise in revenue was attributed to music licensing by a diverse range of media and to growth in foreign markets, where revenue hit $227 million.

While over-the-air broadcasting once provided the lion’s share of revenue, cable networks, satellite audio and video services and digital media have become significant revenue streams. Revs from cable, satellite audio and video services grew $11 million, and BMI licensed almost 500 new digital-media properties and reached long-term agreements with several major Web services.

Revenues from eating-and-drinking establishments, hospitality, retail and service establishments rose to more than $93 million. BMI’s fiscal year runs July 1 to June 30.

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