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BMI Acquisition: What Songwriters Need to Know


The recent acquisition of Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) by New Mountain Capital, a private equity giant, has sent shock waves through the music industry, particularly among songwriters who rely on BMI for royalty collection and advocacy.

What Does This Mean for Songwriters?

While the full picture is still forming, here’s a breakdown of the potential positives and negatives for songwriters:


  • Tech and Infrastructure Upgrades: New Mountain Capital’s track record of technology investments could lead to faster, more accurate royalty distribution and data accessibility for BMI’s 1.4 million affiliates.
  • Market Share Growth: Increased resources might fuel BMI’s efforts to attract new talent, potentially boosting songwriter royalties overall.
  • Stronger Advocacy: Enhanced lobbying efforts could advocate for songwriter-friendly legislation, fairer streaming models, and stronger copyright protections.
  • New Revenue Streams: The acquisition could open doors for BMI to explore new technologies and licensing models, potentially generating additional revenue for songwriters.


  • Profit over Songwriters: New Mountain Capital’s focus on returns might lead to cost-cutting measures affecting songwriter services or royalty transparency.
  • Non-Profit Mission at Risk: BMI’s transition from non-profit to for-profit might be further accelerated, potentially jeopardizing its core mission of advocating for creators.
  • Uncertain Royalty Rates: The impact on royalty rates and distribution models remains unclear, and some fear negotiations with businesses might prioritize profit over songwriter interests.
  • Limited Transparency: Private equity firms tend to be less transparent, potentially hindering communication and trust between BMI and songwriters.

Additional Considerations:

  • Leadership Changes: If Mike O’Neill stays on as CEO, some continuity remains. New leadership, however, brings a new vision with both potential benefits and risks.
  • Regulatory Scrutiny: Antitrust concerns might delay the deal or impose limitations on future operations.
  • Industry Evolution: Songwriters need to adapt and diversify their income streams beyond traditional royalties as the music industry constantly evolves.

The Bottom Line:

The BMI acquisition presents both opportunities and challenges for songwriters. It’s crucial to stay informed, engage with BMI, and adapt your strategies as needed to secure your career and protect your rights. Explore alternative income streams and diversify your revenue sources to navigate the evolving music landscape.

Remember: This analysis is a starting point. Stay informed, voice your concerns, and adapt your strategies to thrive in the new music landscape.

Additional Resources:

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