It’s official! Royalty agreement now fully in place through 2016.

We notified you last June that BMI and the RMLC had reached an agreement in principle regarding the rates to be paid by broadcasters for the right to publicly perform musical works. At that time, we were able to lay out the basic agreement but cautioned that it was subject to approval by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The RMLC has now announced that, on August 28, Judge Louis Stanton of that District Court approved the agreement, making the rates and terms specified in the deal effective through 2016. The highlight from our perspective is not just a presumed lowering of the rates for most stations (due in no small part to an industry-wide $70.5 million credit against 2010-2011 payment), but a simplified calculation method based on gross revenue. That puts an end to the old calculation method that was tied to a base fee, a method that many in recent years considered to be way out of date and extremely cumbersome. As indicated in the RMLC announcement, radio stations should already have reaped the benefit of the 2010-2011 credit, as it was being applied to their BMI accounts starting in June 2012.

Kudos once again to Bill Velez and his crew for great work in representing radio broadcasters.