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ASCAP Experiences Growth in Distributions to Members, Revenues

ASCAP distributed over $851.2 in royalties and earned $944.4 million in 2013

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has reason to celebrate on the eve of its 100th anniversary.

The performing rights and advocacy group reports jumps in both distributions and revenues. ASCAP distributed over $851.2 million in royalties to its 500,000 members over the last year — up 2.9% from $827 million in 2012. Domestic distributions alone increased by 6.1% from $497.5 to $527.9 million. This marks the sixth consecutive year that ASCAP distributed over $800 million to its songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Thanks to advancements in new media and general licensing, revenues increased slightly to $944.4 million. ASCAP’s operating ratio also grew to 12.4% of revenue (from 11.3% in 2012), following litigation with Pandora.

“As we celebrate our centennial, we believe it is time to update the regulations that govern music licensing,” ASCAP president and chairman Paul Williams said in a press release. “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.”

The last calendar year also saw ASCAP migrating its data center to a new facility with increased storage and speed. It completed a five-year project that simplified license and rate structures for eating and drinking establishments, yielding a 30% increase in general licensing customers.

The org also expanded its satellite radio survey, ultimately allowing 18,000 more members to get paid. Due to tracking enhancements and an increase in the number of licensees playing a wider range of music, its number of members receiving royalties has increased 45% in the past five years.

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