In late March, a district judge returned verdict in a year-long wage dispute between the North American Concert Promoters Association (NACPA) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), in which the development was touted as a “massive” victory. However, the NACPA is now officially appealing the decision.
The more than three decades old The NACPA (which negotiates public performance licenses on behalf of 46 members, including Live Nation and AEG) recently appealed the nearly decade-long court battle. To recap, we’ve covered the multifaceted disagreement at length before: The NACPA is pushing for a continuation of the license terms set out in a pact that ran from 2006-2013.
Despite some relatively minor changes, this deal itself was largely based on an agreement dating back to 1998. Meanwhile, leading up to the March decision, BMI (among other things) had a more comprehensive portion of gig revenue (service fees, revenue from VIP packages and box suites, etc. ) and a larger part (specifically 0.8 percent). of said income.
The presiding judge approved the expansion of the revenue base beyond the face value of the passports, but rejected the proposed rate of 0.8 percent, instead noting that a “rate of 0.5 percent of the expanded gross revenue base” would be “appropriate.” Nonetheless, as noted above, BMI called the ruling a significant victory, notably claiming that the new rate would be “138% higher than the historical rate”.
With those points in mind, it goes without saying that the for-profit performing rights organization isn’t thrilled with the supposedly unsurprising appeal of the NACPA.
“Given Live Nation, AEG and NACPA’s bizarre position during the process that concert-goers attend concerts for the experience of the staging, videos and light shows,” said BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill, “as opposed to the actual songs performed and music, her attractiveness came as no surprise to BMI. For decades, the live concert industry has struggled to keep prices down.
“And even now, as they make more money than ever in more diverse ways, they are determined to deny songwriters and composers the fair value of their work, even though without their contributions, not even a concert would be possible.” BMI will continue to fight on behalf of our subsidiaries, the creators of the music that forms the backbone of the live concert industry, to prevent this outcome,” concluded the nearly 30-year-old BMI executive.
Earlier this week, Live Nation shareholders voted against a $139 million compensation package for President and CEO Michael Rapino, whose company has committed to introducing “all-in” pricing starting in September.