ASCAP has reported record revenues of $785 million for 2006, royalty payments to members of $680 million, and an all-time low operating expense ratio of 12.0%, the performing rights organization revealed today (March 6). Revenues exceeded those of 2005 by $37 million, showing a 5% growth.

Total royalty distributions to members also increased from the prior year by $34 million. U.S. distributions totaled more than $486 million, and international distributions reached $211.7 million. ASCAP also welcomed 40,000 new members during the year.

Overall in 2006, revenues from Internet and wireless license agreements grew more than 70% to $13.8 million.

ASCAP attributes its performance to a number of factors: growing revenues from the licensing of existing and new music channels; operational efficiency; and the introduction of numerous high value new services.

"Our overarching priority each year is to put more money in the pockets of our members - hard working songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers. That's a goal we clearly met in 2006," said John LoFrumento, CEO of ASCAP. "To continue achieving such results, we are investing in new technologies that enable us to operate more efficiently and are significantly broadening the scope of professional services we offer to enhance the career opportunities of our members."

Contributing to the revenue growth was ASCAP's recently negotiated licenses with both terrestrial and satellite radio. In 2006, total radio revenues increased 11% to $22 million. Of that amount, terrestrial radio revenues rose by $14 million, and satellite radio revenues rose by $8 million from the prior year. ASCAP anticipates continued growth from satellite radio as a result of a new five-year agreement with XM Satellite Radio that derives revenues from both advertising and subscriber fees.

In television, ASCAP recently completed a new license agreement with ABC, resulting in a significant increase in that network's fees. Specific figures were not disclosed. The arrangement covers performances by ABC across the Internet, broadband and wireless platforms, as well as video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand and pay-per-view.