New York Judge Louis Stanton has approved a settlement ending two years of litigation between the Radio Music LicenseCommittee(RMLC) and BMI, over radio licensing fees. The new BMI license covers the period from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2016 and includes the following:
• A $70.5 million industry fee credit against 2010-2011 industry payments that is immediately available to the industry (this, in addition to the industry’s retention of $40 million in fee reductions that had been voluntarily agreed to by BMI at the interim fee stage of litigation in calendar year 2010)
• A 1.7 percent of gross revenue fee structure for stations on the blanket music license format, less a standard deduction of 12 percent for revenue derived from terrestrial/analog and HD multicasting broadcasts and a 25 percent standard deduction for revenue attributable to new media uses
• Retention of the program-period license that benefits many News/Talk format stations, with a base fee of 0.2958 percent of gross revenue, less the same standard deductions
• Expanded rights coverage to accommodate the industry’s developing new media platforms related to Internet websites, smart phones, and other wireless devices.
"BMI is so proud to represent the world’s best songwriters, composers and music publishers and their incredible contributions to the success of American radio," said BMI SVP of Licensing Michael Steinberg. "This agreement allows us to move forward without the cost and uncertain outcome of further litigation. 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."
RMLC Chairman and Saga Communications President/CEO/Chairman Ed Christian stated, "It is 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. We will work together to solve mutual problems in an ever-changing environment of both radio and intellectual property rights as it relates to authors, composers and publishers."