Music rights company expands, investing in Texas music industry

State & Regional
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AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Global performing rights management company Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, announced Thursday that the company is expanding its Texas footprint with the opening of its first creative office in Austin.

According to Thursday’s announcement, the new BMI office is set to open in early 2019, allowing the company to work with people in the Texas music industry, particularly Austin’s songwriting, composing, and publishing communities.

“Today we are proud to announce that BMI’s support of Texas songwriters, composers and music publishers will become even more Texas-focused,” Abbott said in a statement. “This capital investment expansion represents a real commitment to continue Texas’ rise as a music industry business center. I thank the Texas Music Office for their work in making this expansion possible and look forward to working with BMI to grow our thriving music industry.”

BMI’s President and CEO, Mike O’Neill, said the permanent presence in Austin is the “next logical step” for the company’s investment in Texas.

“BMI has been active in the Texas music community for decades, and as their creative community has grown, we’ve grown along with them,” O’Neill said.

“We look forward to building on our many relationships within the industry to help give Texas songwriters all the support they need to create their greatest music,” he added. “We’re thrilled to call Austin our newest home.”

With Austin dubbed the Live Music Capital of the World, BMI aims to open the permanent space in time for South By Southwest in 2019 either in the city’s Business District or in the south Congress area, according to a media release.

“BMI’s move to Austin represents a significant investment towards supporting Texas songwriters and their compositions,” Texas Music Office Director Brendon Anthony said. “We are proud to welcome BMI and will work alongside them to increase opportunities for Texas musicians in the years to come.”

The release states:

BMI has played a major role in the development of Texas artists and writers who have gone on to great heights in the music industry, such as Robert Earl Keen, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Ray Benson, Bruce Robison, Joe Ely and Gary Clark Jr. Through its collection and distribution of public performance royalties, as well as its support of signature events like SXSW and the Austin City Limits Music Festival, BMI has been a steadfast supporter of the growth of the Texas music economy. The Austin office is the newest location for BMI, which currently has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta, London, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.

Austin-based Sims Foundation, which works with the greater Austin music industry to provide mental health and addiction recovery resources to musicians, said BMI’s expansion is a “game changer.”

“This news is exciting for the many talented songwriters that live in the Austin area,” the organization tweeted Thursday. “For quite some time, we’ve seen our city/state leaders working with the music community to find new economic avenues to help our musicians thrive.”

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