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BMI Creating Licensing Agreements for Mobile Apps

13 Mar, 2002 By: Hive News

BMI, the U.S. performing rights organization, is embracing the burgeoning ringtone/mobile entertainment marketplace in the U.S. by establishing new licensing agreements for the performing rights of the musical compositions that the group represents.

Movie studios have already begun to foray into the wireless world, offering boutique cellular phones, customized ringtones and other movie tie-ins via wireless equipment and service providers.

BMI's traditional business, licensing musical public performance copyrights for radio, television, cable and commercial establishments, has expanded over the past five years to encompass a growing roster of client industries ranging from Internet sites to digital music subscription services and portable wireless services. In the past six months, BMI, which licenses more than 2,300 Web sites, has signed licensing agreements with leading new media companies including MSN, Yahoo!, pressplay and ringtone providers including Sprint PCS, Your Mobile, Zingy.com and Sonera Zed.

"Mobile entertainment, including ringtones and streamed and downloaded music accessed through cell phones and portable computing devices, promises to be one of the big growth areas in the digital music space," said Richard Conlon, BMI's VP Marketing and Business Development. "If the U.S. markets perform like the markets in Western Europe and Japan, we may be able to generate significant revenues. We've been proactively working with these companies for the past three years to help develop business solutions to cover our songwriters' rights.'"

BMI's agreements grant mobile entertainment firms the rights to publicly perform the approximately 4.5 million musical works in the BMI repertoire over both Internet and wireless cell phone delivery systems including wireless access protocol (WAP) and short messaging service (SMS). Both systems enable users to download or stream e-mails, specialized Web pages, music and other content directly to their mobile phones.

Once payment and performance data is received, fees collected from the public performances on the site will be distributed as royalties to the songwriters, composers and music publishers of the works BMI represents.

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