Milestone Underscores Diversity and Growth of World's Leading Performing Rights Organization
Mark T. Williams
From Irving Berlin to Beyoncé, George Gershwin to Green Day, Henry Mancini to Joan Sebastian, Duke Ellington to Hans Zimmer, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the first and leading performing rights organization, has long been driven by the talent and vision of its music creator members. Today, ASCAP announced a new milestone: the number of songwriters, composers and music publishers to join the Society has now surpassed 300,000, providing the voice of the music creator with increasing strength and influence in the future of the music industry.
With reported record revenues of $785 million and royalty payments of $680 million for 2006, as well as an all-time low operating expense ratio of 12.0 percent, ASCAP emphasizes that its membership is the focal point of the organization. Founded in 1914, ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors elected by and from the membership. During its 93-year history, ASCAP has developed a robust membership. In 2006 alone ASCAP elected over 40,000 new members.
"Today, the range of media, delivery systems and venues for performances of music is vast and expanding," said ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento. "Music is everywhere and the fact that the public wants to discover new music and listen to music all the time, wherever they are and whatever they are doing, attests to music's popularity and importance. Music creators are joining ASCAP in record numbers because, in the face of such great change in the music industry, they see the value in a member-run organization whose sole interest is in protecting their rights and cultivating their careers."
Reflecting the continuing evolution of the musical spectrum, ASCAP's repertory of over 8.5 million songs represents all genres of music. And, with ASCAP membership now growing by over 700 music creators a week, to celebrate the 300,000 th member milestone, ASCAP presents the profiles of new members that are typical of today's ASCAP: Up-and-coming pop/rock bands The Amaury and The Undeserving; established bluegrass family band Cherryholmes, teenage rap phenomenon Lil' Mama; award-winning television composers Jeff Lippencott and Mark T. Williams; and legendary Regional Mexican music icon Ramon Ayala. Cherryholmes, Ayala, Lippencott and Williams switched from another performing rights society to join ASCAP, further emphasizing ASCAP's leadership and the advantages of member-ownership.
As music creators pursue their goals in the industry and make their living writing music, many join ASCAP to leverage the organization's wide range of customized member benefits. Some of the value-added benefits ASCAP has created for its members include: MusicPro Insurance®, which provides affordable insurance for music professionals; Mediaguide, a state-of-the-art music tracking service; and the annual ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO which helps attendees obtain the knowledge, tools and contacts to maximize their success and inspire their work. ASCAP also offers a wide variety of retail, travel and association discounts.
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