Founded by radio executives as a non-profit, BMI now boasts more than 650,000 members. According to its website, "BMI is the bridge between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that play their music publicly...BMI serves as an advocate for the value of music, representing 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 650,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers.
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What is Music Publishing?
Music Publishing is the business of protecting and promoting song copyrights and collecting the royalties that these copyrights generate. Think of a song as intellectual property (it's an original piece of art!), and music publishing as the business that makes sure that songwriters get paid a fair compensation when their intellectual property is used by companies. Those companies could be record labels (mechanical royalties), radio stations, bars, and restaurants (performance royalties), or film studios and advertising agencies (sync license fees), and many more.