6 Questions With BMI President/CEO Del Bryant

BMI keeps going and growing. For the fiscal year ended June 30, the performance rights organization posted revenue of $901 million, a 7.4% increase from what it collected in the prior year. It will also disperse $786 million to songwriters, composers and copyright owners, an 8% increase over the prior year. Both figures represent milestones for the organization.

In order to get a handle on how BMI is keeping up its forward momentum, Billboard called BMI president/CEO Del Bryant.

How has BMI shifted internally to accommodate the new realities of the recording industry?

BMI has been very fortunate in that we have always looked at the world in that it may change in any number of ways. It's almost as though we have continuously employed the concept of zero-based budgeting; we don't make the assumption that the following year will be as good as the year that we have just experienced. We are excited about the future and when you don't put your head in the sand, you can see some of the stuff that's coming.

In past interviews you have referred to a tradition of technology leadership. Can you elaborate on that?

Our process is very automated and it has been for 10 years. We will be using a [recognition] technology known as BlueArrow, which is owned by Landmark, an LLC of BMI, for performance data from radio and other broadcast media. We also have a high amount of information coming in from a majority of the licensing partners including cue sheets from TV and cable. We marry the information from producers' cue sheets to our database of songs and composers. What we get is 24/7 accurate information . . . so we are getting 99 point precise information as to what is being played on radio, TV, cable. We had 9 billion performances last year.

In the last three years, BMI's new-media revenue has gone from $16 million in 2006 to $11 million in 2007 to $15 million in your latest fiscal year. What can you say about that?

Click here for the full Q&A, including Bryant's thoughts on the performance of the general licensing income group, what the organization is doing to expand it's artist roster and more.