US collecting society BMI has been under the spotlight in recent weeks, with songwriter bodies concerned about its potential sale, and its for-profit model. Now CEO Mike O’Neill has published a blog post in response to those concerns.
“There’s a lot being said recently about BMI and our future — some of it is speculation, some of it mischaracterization, and some that reflects a clear lack of understanding about BMI’s mission, our priority and our path forward,” he wrote. “Let me set the record straight.”
O’Neill went on to claim that BMI’s business-model change is paying off for its members.
“The three distributions issued under this new model were on average 9% higher than the corresponding ones from the previous year,” he wrote, while citing investments in “new businesses, technologies and enhancements” as additional benefits.
As for that potential sale: “While we have the resources to continue to grow our business, if we can find a partner who can help us take advantage of new opportunities and provide a new level of investment and technological expertise, then of course we would explore that,” wrote O’Neill.
“But let me also be very clear, we would only consider a partner who has a proven track record of growing the companies they work with and one who would prioritize our affiliates and their financial success.”
Will O’Neill’s post mollify members and their representative bodies? That’s unclear. Last month, a group of those organisations sent him a letter with 24 questions on BMI’s business model and potential sale.
His post did not address those questions specifically, although it’s possible he will be responding to them privately in more detail.