Broadcast Music Incorporated

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Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is one of three United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. In 2009, BMI collected over $905 million in licensing fees and distributed $788 million in royalties.[1]

BMI songwriters create all forms of music in all genres. BMI represents artists such as Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Eminem, Rihanna and Shakira; bands including Maroon 5, Nickelback, Linkin Park and Lady Antebellum; legends such as Sam Cooke, Willie Nelson, Fats Domino and Dolly Parton; as well as composers such as Osvaldo Golijov, John Williams and Danny Elfman and musical songwriters Richard & Robert Sherman.

Contents

History

BMI was founded by radio executives in 1939 to provide competition in the field of performing rights, to assure royalty payments to writers and publishers of music not represented by the existing performing right organizations, and to provide an alternative source of licensing for all music users. The company was established as competition for ASCAP, which had dominated the music-licensing industries for over two decades.

BMI was the first performing rights organization in the United States to represent songwriters of blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel (black genres, performers, and writers ASCAP did not want to represent), country, folk, Latin, and—ultimately—rock and roll. During the 1940s and 1950s, BMI was the primary licensing organization for Country artists and R&B artists, while ASCAP centered on more established Pop artists. Also during this time, BMI expanded its repertoire of classical music, and now represents the majority of the members of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters and the winners of 30 Pulitzer Prizes for Music.

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