BMI has cut deals with Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (Nielsen BDS) and MediaBase that will add new census data for hundreds of radio stations to its existing nationwide sample of radio airplay on mor

BMI has cut deals with Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (Nielsen BDS) and MediaBase that will add new census data for hundreds of radio stations to its existing nationwide sample of radio airplay on more than 10,000 stations.

BMI says that the new data -- which will supplement its existing radio sample data -- will not change the overall number of radio performances for a song. Instead, the information will allow BMI to better track where and when the airplay took place.

The first royalty payments calculated using MediaBase and Nielsen BDS data in BMI's radio system will be made to BMI-affiliated writers and publishers within a year.

This marks the first time BMI has used census data as part of its radio airplay measurement. BMI already uses census data to help track television airplay and Internet airplay.

The move is the latest in an ongoing series of moves by BMI to improve the speed and efficiency of its gathering of radio sample data. The company has spent the last two years rolling out a new reporting system that allows radio stations to directly upload playlist information to BMI. Thousands of BMI licensees are now using the system, according to BMI.

The deals with Nielsen BDS and MediaBase are part of a two-year technology initiative by BMI that will see increased investment in tracking systems and related technology infrastructure.

BMI has also recently reached a long-term agreement with Shazam, a digital-fingerprinting specialist, for future tracking of radio and Internet airplay.