'2017 was a year of progress on so many fronts': ASCAP distributions to members topped $1 billion last year

'2017 was a year of progress on so many fronts': ASCAP distributions to members topped $1 billion last year

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) distributed more than $1 billion to its songwriter, composer and publisher members for the first time last year.

The organisation, which represents more than 660,000 members, collected record revenues of $1.144bn (£813 million) in 2017, a rise of 8%, while distributions were up 8% year-on-year. 

In the US alone, revenues from ASCAP’s licensing efforts grew by almost 11% to $846m, up $86.9m on 2016, fuelled by increased revenues across multiple platforms, including audio streaming services, audiovisual media and radio. Domestic distributions also increased 15% to $723m.

ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said: “ASCAP is privileged to represent the creators of the world’s best-loved music. ASCAP is securing a strong future for our members by successfully closing key licensing deals and launching innovative digital tools that will enhance the lives of our members and make it easier for licensees to do business with us.

"Our healthy 2017 financial results are proof positive that we are succeeding in our strategic transformation and our mission to support music creators and music publishers for a sustainable future in the digital economy.”

ASCAP, PRS For Music and SACEM launched a joint project last year to improve data accuracy for songwriters, composers and publishers. Using blockchain technology, the new system is designed to manage the links between music recordings International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs) and music work International Standard Work Codes (ISWCs).

ASCAP president Paul Williams (pictured) said: “I am gratified by the hard work that the ASCAP team does every day to make it possible for members of ASCAP to make their living as music creators. 2017 was a year of progress on so many fronts at ASCAP, including important deals that keep money flowing back to creators, technological investments that will keep us ahead of changes in the industry and momentum behind our efforts to reform our outdated music licensing system.”

More than 45,000 new members joined ASCAP in 2017, including Dua Lipa, Carlos Vives, Maluma, Nana Rogues, Jonas Jeberg and Emily Warren.Top ASCAP members renewing their agreements included Billy Joel, Cardi B, Coldplay, Meghan Trainor, Sam Hunt, Ariana Grande, Donald Fagen, Justin Bieber, Joss Favela, Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Drew Taggart of The Chainsmokers, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Christopher Brody Brown, Starrah, Demi Lovato, French Montana, Lil Uzi Vert, Brett James, Henry Jackman and Heitor Pereira.

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