ASCAP distributed over $851.2 million in royalties to its songwriter, composer and publisher members in the calendar year ended 2013, an increase of nearly $24 million over 2012. Domestic distributions totaled $527.9 million, up 6.1%. 2013 became the sixth year in a row that ASCAP distributed well in excess of $800 million — more than $5 billion total — to its members.
Revenues remained strong at $944.4 million, led by a $13.2 million increase in domestic receipts boosting ASCAP’s financial growth, primarily from its new media and general licensing areas. Revenues from foreign societies also remained healthy at $330.6 million.
2013’s operating ratio stood at 12.4% versus 11.3% in 2012, due to litigation expenses incurred as a result of ASCAP’s ongoing rate court proceeding with Pandora Media, which is seeking to lower the royalties it pays to songwriters and composers.
Said ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento: “Our strong performance in 2013 further demonstrates why ASCAP is uniquely suited to serve the needs of both music creators and licensees in the digital future. I believe ASCAP’s ability to transparently and efficiently track and distribute performance royalties using the most advanced technology is unmatched within the industry, as is our commitment to nurturing and advocating on behalf of our community of members. I am thrilled that in our 100th year, ASCAP is still breaking new ground toward a more transparent, efficient and effective music licensing system.”
ASCAP welcomed more than 30,000 new members in 2013, among them are ZEDD, Calvin Harris, Big Sean, Haim, Sia, Matthew Koma, Drake, Kings of Leon’s Jared Followill, composer Steven Price (Gravity) and composer Gustavo Santaolalla (August: Osage County).
RBR-TVBR observation: Note this: The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) was recently denied an injunction in its ongoing lawsuit against SESAC. In 10/12, RLMC filed an antitrust lawsuit in the Philadelphia Federal District Court against SESAC, alleging it charges rates disproportionate to the number of works it licenses in comparison to BMI and ASCAP. The suit charges that while the radio industry has seen its revenue drop and the number of stations that have a licensing agreement stay the same, SESAC increased its rates on an average of 8% annually. In that same period ASCAP and BMI rates have dropped by about 40%.