Pay the Man to Play the Band
BMI's Frances W. Preston explains that "the Digital Licensing Center is the next step in BMI's mission to accelerate the development of new revenue streams for songwriters, composers, and music publishers. With the distribution power of new audio formats, digital licensing can create new careers and new revenue streams that will benefit the Internet medium, content creators, and consumers alike."
According to BMI, the music-performance license fees are based on the revenues of the licensee, and the fees generated are distributed as royalties to songwriters, composers, and music publishers based on actual usage of music on the Internet. For example, BMI states that annual license fees for small websites start as low as $250, and increase according to a website's annual gross revenues. Currently, the DLC serves smaller e-commerce sites, but BMI says it plans to expand the system in the near future to license larger sites, those making more than $25,000 in revenues per year. BMI adds that the DLC provides its online licensing services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a totally paperless electronic environment.
BMI also says that some early users of the new process include Get Smashed Radio Broadcasting, BNET, Inc., Boxorox.com, Planet Live, Inc., Alaska Direct, and K2 Sports, Inc. BMI's Richard Conlon concludes that "we believe that by providing developers and dot.com companies with a simple, cost-effective solution for licensing the content on their sites, we can help monetize music copyrights in the digital world for our songwriters."