ASCAP Collects $1.327 Billion In 2020 Revenue For Its Members

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 02: ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews speaks on-stage at ASCAP Annual Membership Meeting the 2019 ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO at Lowes Hollywood Hotel on May 2, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP)

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Despite the pandemic, ASCAP still managed to report revenue growth for its members in 2020, as the PRO released their annual financials report today.

The six-year compound annual growth rate stands at 6%, with the 2019 to 2020 dollar increase jumping from $1.274 to $1.327 billion, a $53 million increase. ASCAP distributions during this same period were at a 7% compound annual growth rate.

ASCAP Six-Year Revenue chart

Live music events and the closing of many restaurants, bars and hotels for an extended time certainly affected ASCAP’s bottom line, with a 30% revenue decline from those businesses. Streaming, on the other hand, had gains of 28% in domestic revenue, while audio/visual added 8%.

ASCAP, which operates as a non-profit after operating expenses, grew royalties for its songwriter, composer and publisher members by $29 million, or 2.5%, for a total of $1.213 billion available for distributions. Domestic distributions from ASCAP-licensed and administered performances hit $891 million, an increase of $22 million, and foreign distributions totaled $322 million.

“2020 challenged all of us unlike any other year in modern history. It also defined ASCAP’s dedication to our members,” said ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews. “That meant strengthening our commitment to our mission to serve our songwriters, composers and music publishers by taking every step necessary to secure their livelihoods and careers. Inspired by our members each and every day, the ASCAP team proved that innovation, efficiency and progress really can be escalated in a crisis.”

“I am so impressed by ASCAP and its extraordinary efforts in 2020,” said ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams. “The team worked extremely hard and under incredibly difficult circumstances to make up for revenues lost due to the pandemic and to deliver the financial security and support that music creators need to survive the crisis of our lifetime. Their work will have an impact for years to come and as an ASCAP member, I am deeply grateful. Together, we have met the demands of this challenging time period and we look to 2021 with greater hope and strength as a community.”

ASCAP continued to pivot and innovate on several other fronts for songwriters, including Covid relief, Fight for Change, its own ASCAP Experience event and Songview- a new portal partnership with competitor BMI.

ASCAP delivered Covid relief through a major donation to MusiCares earmarked for its songwriters in need; fought for governmental Covid relief for music creators on the federal and state level; and launched Music Unites Us, a website to provide information on Covid resources for music creators.

ASCAP rallied for racial and social justice through its Fight for Change resources page, by raising money for Color of Change and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, by establishing an annual internship program for HBCU students, by advocating for federal and state police reform bills, and through its ASCAP Citizen “GET OUT THE VOTE” campaign.

SONGVIEW, a comprehensive data platform developed in partnership with BMI enables ASCAP and BMI to display more detailed, authoritative and consistent copyright ownership data for performing rights for more than 20 million songs in their combined repertories.

ASCAP adapted all of its major award shows, events and educational programs to virtual platforms, with participation from some of the world’s biggest music creators such as Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Diplo, DaBaby, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. The ASCAP Experience: Home Edition (formerly the ASCAP Expo) drew more than 10,000 registrants from 120 countries and featured conversations with award-winning music creators such as FINNEAS, Brothers Osborne, Brandy Clark, Shaggy, Michael R. Jackson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Hans Zimmer and more.

The ASCAP 2020 Annual Report can be viewed at

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