ascap bmi

Persistent rumours of an imminent sale for US collecting society BMI are sparking concern from songwriters, but also providing an opportunity for rival Ascap.

In a series of social-media posts this week, the latter has been taking barely-veiled potshots at BMI.

“Creators first. Not for profit. Not for sale,” was one example. “Private equity never wrote an iconic love song,” another. “Who owns us? Who gets paid? You,” another. And “We pay songwriters not shareholders,” just to hammer the point home.

Each post was accompanied by an encouragement to songwriters to join Ascap, indicating that the organisation sees an opening to swell its membership at the expense of BMI.

Last week there was speculation that private equity firm New Mountain Capital might make a $1.7bn acquisition bid for BMI.

One of the big questions around any such deal, however, is whether its value would be swiftly eroded by any backlash from its songwriter members – and (egged on by Ascap) especially by any migration away from BMI.

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