Broadcast Music Inc., one of the major performing rights organizations in the United States, collected $1.57 billion and distributed $1.47 billion for its 2022 fiscal year.
BMI, the giant music licensing agency that represents hundreds of thousands of songwriters, including Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga, has agreed to sell itself to New Mountain Capital, a private equity firm, the organization announced on Tuesday.
BMI, along with its archrival ASCAP, is one of the major performing rights organizations in the United States. They act as clearinghouses for the legal rights that allow songs to be played on the radio, streamed online or piped into retail shops — and distribute billions of dollars in royalties to songwriters and music publishers.
Terms of the deal between BMI and New Mountain were not disclosed. In its announcement, BMI, whose full name is Broadcast Music Inc., said that the sale is subject to approval by its shareholders and “customary” regulatory review, and that it expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2024.
According to the announcement, CapitalG, a fund affiliated with Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is also acquiring a minority stake in BMI.
Normally a quiet financial engine of the music industry, BMI has been the subject of some heated debate among songwriters and publishers recently, as the organization changed its financial model and news reports emerged that it was seeking a buyer.
Founded in 1939, BMI has long been controlled by radio and broadcasting companies, but, like ASCAP — which dates to 1914 — it has operated on a nonprofit basis, collecting licensing fees and, after paying overhead costs, distributing the rest to its affiliated songwriters and publishers. These performing rights organizations do not own copyrights — the asset that has driven a gold rush in recent music deals — but typically have deals to represent songwriters for this part of their business.
We are having trouble retrieving the article content.
We are confirming your access to this article, this will take just a moment. However, if you are using Reader mode please log in, subscribe, or exit Reader mode since we are unable to verify access in that state.
Confirming article access.
If you are a subscriber, please log in.