While revenues at ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) dropped by 6% in 2010 to $935 million, it managed to make $845 million in distributions, a 2.1% decline, to its members.
Total revenues and member distributions were below the record highs reported in 2009 when ASCAP collected $995 million and distributed $863 million. The downturn was due the impact of a slower economy, unfavorable rate court decisions and a reduced interim radio rate, the organization said in a statement.
The results are scheduled to be announced today (March 31) during the organization's General Annual Membership Meeting, which was held during ASCAP's New York Sessions, a day-long event held at the Kaufman Concert Hall in the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
The soft economy produced lower payments from those customers paying on a percentage of revenue basis. Meanwhile, a reduced interim radio rate will stay in effect until the final radio rate is set at the conclusion of a rate court proceeding, most likely in 2012, according to the organization.
In the statement, ASCAP said that "no other U.S. performing rights organization has ever reached the $800 million dollar level in distributions. In fact, during the past three years, ASCAP has distributed over $2.5 billion to its member owners." Moreover, the organization said that 2010 revenues were consistent with levels reach in 2008, when revenues were $933 million and payouts were $817 million.
According to ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento, "ASCAP continues to benefit its member owners by rewarding them financially, by enhancing their career success and by protecting their copyrights. "Looking to the future, we see ongoing challenges to member financial distributions, ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento acknowledged iin a statement. "We are working tirelessly to add new licensing opportunities and to utilize new technologies to control operating costs. Over the next twelve months, ASCAP will maintain its fight for fair songwriter and composer compensation through creative licensing negotiation and litigation when necessary and appropriate."
The company said that its new cost saving technologies and tight expense control resulted in a relatively low 13.9% operating expense ratio, which means that its annual expenses totaled about $130 million .
Other accomplishments during 2010 including a new, state of the art distribution system, which provided members with enhanced services; the creation of an Phone app, a redesign and upgrade for its website; and the addition of 32,000 new members to reach its total of approximately 400,000 members.