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Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) is one of three United Statesmarker performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. BMI affiliates include pop music icons such as Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, as well as composers such as William Bolcom and John Williams.


BMI was founded by radio executives in 1939 to provide competition in the field of performing rights, to assure royalty payments to writers and publishers of music not represented by the existing performing right organizations, and to provide an alternative source of licensing for all music users. The company was established as competition for ASCAP, which had dominated the music-licensing industries for over two decades.

BMI was the first performing rights organization in the United States to represent songwriters of blues, country, jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, folk, Latin, and—ultimately—rock and roll. During the 1940s and 1950s, BMI was the primary licensing organization for Country artists and R&B artists, while ASCAP centered on more established Pop artists. Also during this time, BMI expanded its repertoire of classical music, and now represents the majority of the members of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters and the winners of 30 Pulitzer Prizes for Music.


A non-profit-making corporation, BMI issues licenses to users of music, including:
  • Television and radio stations and networks
  • New media, including the Internet and mobile technologies such as podcasts, ringtones, and ringbacks
  • Satellite audio services, such as XM and Sirius
  • Nightclubs, discos, hotels, bars, and restaurants
  • Symphony orchestras, concert bands, and classical chamber music ensembles
  • Digital jukeboxes
  • Live concerts

BMI tracks public performances for 6.5 million works, and collects and distributes licensing revenues for those performances as royalties to over 400,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers it represents, and thousands of creators around the world who have chosen BMI for representation in the U.S.

BMI annually hosts award shows for the purpose of giving awards to songwriters.[10361]

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