The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) today announced a new five-year agreement through 2021 that sets the rates payable by over 10,000 of America's commercial terrestrial radio stations to publicly perform more than 10.5 million musical works in the ASCAP repertory. The RMLC represents the vast majority of the nation's radio stations and ASCAP represents 600,000 songwriters, composers and music publisher members whose songs and compositions comprise the largest catalog of music played on commercial AM/FM radio of any performing rights organization in the United States.
The agreement covers the five-year period 2017 to 2021. It 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 organization. ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews commented: “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.
Reaching a voluntary agreement with the terrestrial radio industry enables ASCAP to stabilize and grow revenues for our members while continuing to aggressively advocate for regulatory reform to modernize the music licensing system.” RMLC Chairman Ed Christian commented: “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.”