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ASCAP Delivers Record-Breaking Financial Results With $1.737 Billion In Revenues, Up 14.1% From The Prior Year;  

Welcomes New Members Including Jack Antonoff, PinkPantheress, Jared Leto & Shannon Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars, and Tyla

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the only U.S. Public Performance Rights Organization (“PRO") to operate on a not-for-profit basis, today announces its 2023 financial results, with increases in every major revenue and distribution category. ASCAP delivered a record-breaking $1.737 billion in revenue in the 2023 calendar year with $1.592 billion available for royalty distributions to its songwriter, composer, lyricist and music publisher members, the highest revenue and royalty distributions reported by any U.S. PRO. 

ASCAP’s record-breaking revenues of $1.737 billion in 2023 represent an increase of $215 million or 14.1% over 2022. ASCAP increased the value and monetization of its members’ music with domestic revenue from U.S.-licensed performances surpassing $1.327 billion which is an increase of $149 million or 12.6% over the prior year. In 2023, audio streaming revenue rose 21%, general licensing revenue rose 23%, radio revenue rose 10% and audio-visual revenue rose 3% as compared to 2022.

Total foreign revenues for performances of ASCAP members’ work outside the U.S. were $410 million, up $66 million or 19.3% over the prior year due to the strength and success of more than 960,000 ASCAP members who have created the most valuable musical repertoire in the world.  ASCAP represents and aggregates in cost-effective, efficient blanket licenses over 19 million copyrights which includes iconic music from Beyoncé, Billy Joel, Cardi B, Dua Lipa, Garth Brooks, Jay-Z, Katy Perry, Lil Baby, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mariah Carey, Olivia Rodrigo, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Usher and more.

Since the launch of ASCAP’s strategic growth plan in 2015, its compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Total Revenue through 2023 has increased to 7%, and the CAGR for Total Distributions over the same time period rose to 8%.   

ASCAP reported a record-breaking $1.592 billion available for distribution to its members, an increase of $204 million or 14.7% over the prior year. This is the highest amount in royalty distributions to creators and music publishers reported by any U.S. PRO, fueled by both revenue growth and the lowest overall cost allocation overhead rate in the U.S. at 10%. ASCAP does not charge a commission or take a profit. Instead, pursuant to its unique governance and operating principles, it must deduct all expenses subject to a reasonable reserve and then distribute all remaining dollars as royalty distributions to its members.

ASCAP’s 10% overhead rate means that 90 cents of every dollar collected was paid to ASCAP members, resulting in the highest value exchange applied to the lowest overhead rate provided to creators and publishers of any U.S. PRO.

Total funds available for domestic distributions of ASCAP U.S.-licensed and administered performances were $1.217 billion, an increase of $169 million or 16.1%, based solely on U.S. performances of works by ASCAP-licensed songwriter, composer and publisher members. Of that total, $53 million was distributed through Songwize, ASCAP’s royalty administration service provided to ASCAP members who directly license their works, up 16.8% over 2022.

Royalty distributions to ASCAP members derived from ex-U.S. performances were $375 million, up $35 million, or 10.2% over the prior year driven by the strength of the ASCAP repertoire and its low overhead ratio.

Unlike its competitors, ASCAP has no debt, no shareholders, no private owners and no private equity investors, meaning ASCAP’s music creator and publisher members are the sole beneficiaries of ASCAP’s financial success. A democratically elected Board of Directors composed of music publishers and music creators sets the royalty distribution rules and cost allocations based on follow-the-dollar principles. It is the only U.S. PRO that makes those distribution rules publicly available on its website providing transparency to its membership.

“We are delivering industry-leading technical innovation, legislative advocacy and revenue growth that solely benefits our members, not outside investors or shareholders,” said ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews. “As we like to say, private equity never wrote an iconic love song which is why we fight purely for songwriters, composers and publishers, not for those who use creators and their works of art for their own profits or to secure their own debt. ASCAP differs from others because our mission and purpose is clear and unique.”

“ASCAP’s mission and not-for-profit business model are more important now than ever before, as artificial intelligence transforms the music landscape, and the need for legislative advocacy to protect creators in DC has never been more important,” said ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams. “ASCAP will always be a champion for the humans who create music and demand transparency and fair payment from those who exploit our work. ASCAP makes it possible for our songwriter and composer members to write the next song, to earn a living and to support their families. No one else in the industry has the backs of songwriters like ASCAP.”

ASCAP, which marked its 110th year on February 13, also announced several top music creators joining the ASCAP family, including A-list songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff, viral pop star PinkPantheress, Jared Leto and Shannon Leto of alternative rock chart-toppers 30 Seconds to Mars, and South African singer-songwriter Tyla.

ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews will share this news and more details this afternoon at the 2024 ASCAP Membership Meeting in New York City in front of a packed audience of ASCAP members.

The event also features a keynote conversation with Songwriters Hall of Famer and forefather of the Atlanta music scene Jermaine Dupri; “We Create Music,” a superpanel of ASCAP songwriters and composers at the top of the pop, film music and theater spheres, with hit songwriter-producers Sam Hollander (Panic! At The Disco, Katy Perry) and Gregg Wattenberg (Five for Fighting, OAR), hit songwriter Madison Love (“Bad Things,” Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello; “Turbulence,” P!nk), Oscar-nominated film composer Carter Burwell (Carol, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Banshees of Inisherin), playwright/lyricist and composer Michael R. Jackson (Pulitzer-Prize and Tony Best Musical-winning A Strange Loop); and performances from Grammy-nominated progressive jazz duo DOMi & JD Beck and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stacey Ryan.

The program wraps with the “Writers Jam,” featuring some of today’s top writers telling the stories behind and performing their biggest hits live. Participants include Liana Banks (Bebe Rexha, Saweetie, Queen Naija), Grammy-winning songwriter Claudia Brant (Camila Cabello, Carlos Santana), pop-rock juggernaut Maggie Lindemann (“Pretty Girl,” “hostage”) and Dove Award-winning gospel singer-songwriter and composer Blessing Offor (“Believe,” “Brighter Days”). 

ASCAP Year in Review

 As a creator-first organization, ASCAP continued to educate, advocate and innovate on behalf of its members in 2023. 

In addition to Jack Antonoff, PinkPantheress, Jared Leto & Shannon Leto of 30 Seconds to Mars, and Tyla, ASCAP welcomed more than 66,000 new members in 2023, including art-pop singer-songwriter Caroline Polachek, alt-rocker d4vd, Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Samara Joy, country genre bender Jessie Murph, dark balladeer Chappell Roan, post-punker ThxSoMuch and rising writer-producer Alexander 23, bringing the organization’s total membership to nearly one million.

ASCAP leads the music industry in addressing the new challenges and opportunities that artificial intelligence presents for music creators. In 2023, the ASCAP Board of Directors adopted six principles to guide its response to the technology and later submitted them on behalf of members to a U.S. Copyright Office study on generative AI. The ASCAP Lab Music and AI Challenge identified creative, cutting-edge concepts at the intersection of music and AI. Throughout the year, ASCAP held AI Symposiums for members in New York and Nashville and dedicated an ASCAP Experience session to the topic.  

In September, the day after The ASCAP Foundation’s “We Write the Songs” concert at the Library of Congress, ASCAP executives and top members including Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Madison Love, Cirkut, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and Matthew West met with 28 lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for music creators and ask Congress to protect their rights in the age of AI. An ASCAP grassroots campaign generated 2600 messages to more than 400 members of Congress asking them to regulate AI.

The ASCAP Experience returned in person to Los Angeles as a reimagined one-day live edition. The creator summit featured a hitmaking lineup including legendary producer Timbaland, chart-topping songwriters Sarah Hudson (Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello) and James Fauntleroy (Bruno Mars, Beyoncé & Jay-Z), multi-platinum rapper and producer Hitmaka (Big Sean, Nicki Minaj), multi-genre writer, singer and vocal producer Steph Jones (Selena Gomez, Kelsea Ballerini), composer/songwriter Anna Waronker (Yellowjackets), hit songwriter and producer Darrell Brown (Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes), Grammy-winning producer Neff-U(Justin Bieber, Sia) and a session celebrating 50 years of hip-hop with Big Daddy Kane and Easy Mo Bee. 

Throughout the year, ASCAP celebrated the success of its members across all musical genres, including the presentation of the first ASCAP Hip-Hop Icon Award to multi-platinum-selling rapper, producer and music legend Dr. Dre, the ASCAP Golden Note Award to five-time ASCAP Christian Music Songwriter of the Year Matthew West and an ASCAP Women Behind the Music honor for R&B singer and songwriter Summer Walker.

The ASCAP 2023 Annual Report can be viewed at: www.ascap.com/annualreport23.

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25 Apr 2024

  • Spotify talks growth, bundle royalties and short-video plans (see Digital)

24 Apr 2024

  • BPI CEO calls on music industry and government to unite around 5 key priorities to support human artistry and sustainably promote British music (see News)

23 Apr 2024

  • Hipgnosis Song Management fires back at Songs Fund board (see Business)

22 Apr 2024

  • Blackstone bid for Hipgnosis receives backing from board (see Business)

  • Taylor Swift’s new album breaks Spotify records (see News)

  • Independence - what’s up with that BPI press release about 2023 music consumption? (see Comment)

19 Apr 2024

  • Creator Remuneration Working Group meet for the first time (see News)

  • Concord's takeover of Hipgnosis (see Analysis)

18 Apr 2024

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17 Apr 2024

  • Is the music industry gaslighting artists? (see Comment)

16 Apr 2024

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  • Can’t cross the moat? Walk around it. (see Comment)

15 Apr 2024

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  • Viagogo: Carrying on ticketing, despite the controversy (see News)

12 Apr 2024

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  • Spotify plans new remixing tools for the TikTok generation (see Digital)

  • Is Spotify plotting a largescale push into short-form video? (see Digital)