ASCAP, BMI create joint music licensing database

Performing rights organizations American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc (BMI) said they have joined forces to create a single, comprehensive database of musical works from their combined repertories.

ASCAP and BMI said the database “will deliver an authoritative view of ownership shares in the vast majority of music licensed in the United States.”

Expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018, the database will feature aggregated song ownership data from ASCAP and BMI and offer transparency to music users and the industry.

The announcement was made by Elizabeth Matthews, CEO, ASCAP and Mike O’Neill, President and CEO, BMI.

The database, which will be publicly available initially via ASCAP’s and BMI’s websites, will feature aggregated information from BMI’s and ASCAP’s repertories and will indicate where other performing rights organizations may have an interest in a musical work.

Matthews said: “ASCAP and BMI are proactively and voluntarily moving the entire industry a step forward to more accurate, reliable and user-friendly data.

“We believe in a free market with more industry cooperation and alignment on data issues.

“Together, ASCAP and BMI have the most expertise in building and managing complex copyright ownership databases.

“With our combined experience, we are best positioned to make faster headway in creating a robust, cost effective market solution to meet the needs of the licensing marketplace.”

O’Neill said: “This is an important solution for the marketplace created by the experts who know their data best.

“We have always advocated for data transparency and supported the need for a user-friendly and comprehensive solution that would benefit music users and music creators alike.

“While BMI and ASCAP remain fierce competitors in all other regards, we recognize that our combined expertise allows us to create the best solution for our members and the marketplace.

“We’re excited by our momentum and the promise of what this database can become in the future.”