Anyone who’s messed with Google AdSense knows the threshold: you don’t get a cent until you pass the $100 mark, after which remittances come monthly.
I, for my part, misunderstood this process: I thought you only got paid again after you’d rolled up another hundred. Admittedly, I have never carried AdSense, so I have at least some excuse for this particular misapprehension. And besides, it’s consistent with music-industry practice:
Up until the last quarter, if a songwriter earned less than $50.00 BMI wouldn’t issue a check until the amount owed exceeded that minimum. Now they have raised the minimum amount to $250.00, FIVE TIMES THE AMOUNT IT WAS A FEW MONTHS AGO, before they issue a check!
Are they crazy? Yeah crazy like a fox, it sounds like someone in accounting came up with this brilliant idea to hold onto millions of dollars of the songwriters diminishing royalties for as long as possible … and who’s going to complain?
Most songwriters who are affected by this are too old, too tired, or too stoned to fight for what is rightfully theirs … so they let it slide.
So far as I can tell, this is an effort by BMI to avoid cutting checks at all and shift everyone to direct deposit of royalties earned. (I have no idea what the ASCAP rule is.) Still, a lot of BMI oldtimers are going to wonder if maybe they’re not getting anything anymore.
Last I looked, the royalty was 9.1 cents per song, or 1.75 cents per minute, whichever be greater, per copy.