BMI and Radio Industry Group Agree to Interim Licensing Rate

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Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) and the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) have agreed to set an interim rate of 1.7 percent of radio revenue, while the two sides either negotiate a final rate, or failing that, go to rate court to determine the final number.

Initially, the RMLC had suggested a rate of 1.4 percent of revenue, which made BMI unhappy because it wanted an interim rate of 1.7 percent, so it already went to the BMI Federal Rate Court in the Southern District of New York, presided over by Judge Louis Stanton, for a ruling on an interim rate.

According to BMI, the proposed rate from the RMLC was based on "incomplete and incorrect information regarding BMI’s share of radio performance."

The BMI statement further stated that after a preliminary hearing on Feb. 17,  "the RMLC reversed course and agreed that the 7,000 stations it represents would pay the interim rate proposed by BMI," which will cover fees from Jan. 1 until the final fee is set.

"We are pleased that the RMLC recognized the value that BMI music brings to the radio industry across all of its platforms and agreed to BMI's proposed interim rate," BMI senior vp of licensing Mike Steinberg said. "Protecting the income of BMI's songwriters, composers and music publishers is of paramount importance, and we will continue to pursue a new final rate that reflects current and future marketplace data and is in the best interests of our affiliates."