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?
Wayne, among others, did complain, and apparently something has changed:
Last week I got a check from BMI for $115 for a song I wrote 40 years ago, and I felt proud that I was able to help in a small way to change their ridiculous practice that was probably created by some low management bean counter.
There exists a BMI service called FastForward, which enables members to draw against future earnings, but you have to be making at least $5000 a year in royalties to qualify. That’s a lot of $115 checks.
Update: Wayne has backpedaled a bit:
I’ve had a dozen e-mails which basically say the same thing …
“Please note that BMI did not change their policy. The September quarter will always bring a check. They will not pay through the other three quarters unless you earn $250. Nothing has changed.”