Concerns arise among songwriters as BMI’s private equity sale may impact their royalties. What’s next?


US performing rights organization BMI is reportedly exploring a potential sale to New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm. Songwriters are concerned about what this sale could mean for their royalties. The Artist Rights Alliance, the Black Music Action Coalition, and other songwriter groups have written to BMI, expressing their concern about the sale and questioning how it will impact their royalties. They ask whether songwriters will receive part of the sale proceeds, and whether broadcasters, who are often BMI’s owners and pay the royalties, will benefit from the sale. The impact of BMI’s sale could be significant for the US music industry, as the organization collected royalties on behalf of 1.3 million affiliates and distributed $1.471 billion in royalties in fiscal year 2022.

The potential sale of BMI to a private equity company has sparked concern among songwriters about what it means for their earnings. The change in BMI’s business model from non-profit to for-profit, and reports of the sale, have raised questions about who will benefit from the sale and whether songwriters will be paid less as a result. Songwriters groups have sent a letter to BMI, asking tough questions about the potential impact of the sale and demanding transparency. BMI’s CEO has responded, reassuring songwriters that the company’s move to a for-profit model and any potential sale would ultimately benefit music rightsholders. However, songwriters and music publishers are growing uncertain about BMI’s moves and are determined to fight for fair compensation.

The potential sale of BMI to New Mountain Capital raises concerns about the future of songwriters’ royalties. The sale could result in increased profits for a private equity owner at the expense of songwriters, as the owner may seek to lower distribution rates or drive writers away from BMI. Songwriters and music publishers are demanding clarity on who will benefit from the sale and whether publishers will receive a share of the proceeds. The sale of BMI, the largest music rights collection organization in the US, could have a profound impact on the US music business. With 1.3 million affiliates and record-breaking royalties distribution, songwriters are concerned about the potential decrease in earnings and are urging BMI to prioritize their interests.

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