ASCAP press release: ASCAP delivers for the first time more than $1 billion to songwriter, composer and music publisher members
NEW YORK, April 19, 2018 - ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the world leader in performing rights and advocacy for music creators, announced record-high revenues and distributions in 2017. The organization, which today represents more than 660,000 members, collected approximately $1.144 billion in revenues last year and distributed for the first time more than $1.007 billion to its songwriter, composer and music publisher members. Total ASCAP revenues increased by 8 percent and distributions were up 10 percent year-over-year.
Revenues from ASCAP’s licensing efforts in the US alone grew nearly 11 percent in 2017 to $846 million, up $86.9 million over 2016.
Domestic distributions from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances in the US also increased, to $723 million, up 15 percent over 2016.
ASCAP operates on a not-for-profit basis and delivers about 88 cents of every dollar collected back to members for performances of their music. With a 2017 operating expense ratio of about 12 percent, ASCAP remains among the most efficient Performance Rights Organizations in the world, while transforming to stay ahead of massive changes in the music industry.
ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews commented: “ASCAP is privileged to represent the creators of the world’s best-loved music. ASCAP is securing a strong future for our members by successfully closing key licensing deals and launching innovative digital tools that will enhance the lives of our members and make it easier for licensees to do business with us. Our healthy 2017 financial results are proof positive that we are succeeding in our strategic transformation and our mission to support music creators and music publishers for a sustainable future in the digital economy.”
ASCAP President Paul Williams said: “I am gratified by the hard work that the ASCAP team does every day to make it possible for members of ASCAP to make their living as music creators. 2017 was a year of progress on so many fronts at ASCAP, including important deals that keep money flowing back to creators, technological investments that will keep us ahead of changes in the industry and momentum behind our efforts to reform our outdated music licensing system.”
ASCAP’s domestic revenue growth was fueled by increased revenues across multiple platforms, including audio streaming services, audiovisual media and radio. ASCAP also continued to secure future revenues for members by closing significant licensing deals with major media companies. An agreement with YouTube for public performance rights and data collaboration, announced last June, will improve the accuracy and reliability of the metadata attached to musical works, and will result in greater compensation for ASCAP members.
ASCAP debuted a market-leading suite of digital tools in its Member Access portal in 2017, unparalleled in the performing rights sector. The tools make it easy for songwriters, composers and publishers to register and manage large catalogs of music and provide songwriters and publishers with new data visualization tools for a deeper dive into their earnings data. Ultimately, ASCAP’s new tools empower members to make more informed business decisions about their catalogs and works.
ASCAP’s groundbreaking moves in transparency and innovation continued to lead the industry toward more cooperation and alignment on data issues. Together with SACEM and PRS for Music, ASCAP launched an initiative to improve the sharing of unique identifiers and matching of sound recordings and compositions across the industry and in multiple territories, leveraging cutting-edge technology, such as blockchain and graph databases. ASCAP and BMI also announced a joint database reconciliation project of our songs repertories that will deliver an authoritative view of ownership shares for the vast majority of music licensed in the US.
MEMBER SUCCESS AND GROWTH
ASCAP members wrote the soundtrack to 2017. From pop to hip-hop, Latin to R&B, country to EDM and rock to gospel, music from ASCAP songwriters crowned 31 separate year-end song charts in 2017 and took all 10 of the Top 10 spots on the year-end Billboard Hot 100. Chart-topping members included Ashley Gorley, Drew Taggart, Daddy Yankee, Christopher Brody Brown, James Fauntleroy, Ray Charles McCullough & Jeremy Reeves (The Stereotypes), Frederic Kennett, Isaac Slade, Joe King, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle, Steve Mac (PRS), Justin Bieber, Poo Bear, Mattman & Robin (STIM), Kendrick Lamar, Mike Will Made-It, Lil Uzi Vert, Louis Bell and Quavo.
More than 45,000 new members joined ASCAP in 2017, among them Dua Lipa, Carlos Vives, Maluma, Nana Rogues (Drake, “Passionfruit”), Jonas Jeberg (Fifth Harmony, “Sledgehammer” & Selena Gomez, “Fetish”) and Emily Warren (The Chainsmokers, "Don't Let Me Down ft. Daya" & Dua Lipa, "New Rules”). Top ASCAP members renewing their agreements included Billy Joel, Cardi B, Coldplay, Meghan Trainor, Sam Hunt, Ariana Grande, Donald Fagen, Justin Bieber, Joss Favela, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Drew Taggart (of The Chainsmokers), Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Christopher Brody Brown, Starrah, Demi Lovato, French Montana, Lil Uzi Vert, Brett James, Henry Jackman and Heitor Pereira.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business - from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 660,000 members representing more than 11.5 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at www.ascap.com, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.