ASCAP agrees to new rates with US commercial radio stations


ASCAP agrees to new rates with US commercial radio stations

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has reached a new five-year agreement with the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) that sets the rates payable by over 10,000 of America’s commercial terrestrial radio stations for the public performance of ASCAP’s repertoire. The agreement covers the five-year period 2017 to 2021. 

Details of the rates were not provided by both parties but, in a statement, it said that the new rates "provides for increases in the rates paid by radio stations to perform music by ASCAP members via terrestrial, over-the-air broadcasts as well as certain digital transmissions and, for the first time, expressly affirms the percentage share of radio performances represented by ASCAP -- at a level that reflects that ASCAP licenses more performances on broadcast radio than any other performing rights organisation”. 

“We are confident that our new agreement will provide enhanced financial benefits to ASCAP songwriters, composers and music publishers at a time of tremendous disruption in the music industry,” said ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews.  "Reaching a voluntary agreement with the terrestrial radio industry enables ASCAP to stabilise and grow revenues for our members while continuing to aggressively advocate for regulatory reform to modernise the music licensing system.”  

RMLC chairman Ed Christian said: “This agreement demonstrates how the creative and music user communities can work together in good faith to produce an outcome that is positive for both sides.  The increase in ASCAP fees is consistent with ASCAP's established spin share on radio.  We are pleased to close this deal ensuring that there will be no interruption in ASCAP music being performed on American radio at a time when the music licensing landscape has become increasingly complex.” 

The RMLC represents the vast majority of the nation’s commercial radio stations and ASCAP. It has recently engaged legal procedures against Global Music Rights, the collective management society set up by Irving Azoff, for acting like a monopoly. Azoff stroke back by suing the RLMC and accusing the organisation to act like a cartel. Last year, the RLMC reached a settlement with Nashville-based SESAC, the US third largest, for-profit collective management society.

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