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October 18, 2012

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

PERFORMANCE ROYALTIES: Understanding the 2 Billion Dollar World of ASCAP, BMI and SESAC

The panel will discuss where the money comes from, how license fees are arrived at, how writers and publishers get paid and the challenges that PROs face now and in the future. 

Areas covered include surveys, contracts, payment formulas and distribution changes, structure, rate courts and license negotiations, foreign society reciprocal agreements and collections,  resignation and termination rules, procedures to question statements and redress grievances and more.



Randy Grimmett
EVP Membership, ASCAP

Alison Smith
SVP Performing Rights, BMI

Hunter Williams
SVP Strategic Development/Dist & Research Ops, SESAC


Todd Brabec, Esq.
Author, Music, Money and Success

AIMP Panel

Place: View Map
Lawry's The Prime Rib
100 North La Cienega Blvd. (near Wilshire)
Beverly Hills, CA 90211


From left, Randy Grimmett/ASCAP, Alison Smith/BMI, Hunter Williams/SESAC and board member Todd Brabec, Esq. 

Photos by Liz Redwing, courtesy Lawry's The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills. 

Additional Speaker Information

Randy Grimmett oversees all activities of Membership in the musical genres of Pop/Rock, Urban, Latin, Country and Film & TV with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, San Antonio and Puerto Rico. Since joining ASCAP, Grimmett has been instrumental in ASCAP's membership efforts, including the acquisition and retention of many prominent members, development of many innovative business practices and the programming of the hugely successful ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO. He has been a vital part of ASCAP's strong market share growth through the deployment of new competitive tools for its most high profile members. Grimmett began his music career in management and business affairs. An attorney, he joined the ASCAP staff 15 years ago, and has continued to grow his membership efforts for the Society by working with all departments of ASCAP as well as writers, publishers and their representatives in all genres of music. Prior to his relocation to California, he worked in private legal practice. He has a B.A. in English and Radio/Film/TV Production and a J.D., with honors, from The University of Oklahoma where he was Chief Note Editor of the Oklahoma Law Review and a member of the International Law Moot Court Team. In the past, Grimmett served as an adjunct professor at Cal Poly-Pomona where he taught the music publishing/legal/copyright course.

Alison Smith is Senior Vice President, Performing Rights, the department that administers copyright performance royalties of BMI affiliates. She has the additional responsibility of managing the Writer/Publisher Administration & Research departments. During her tenure at BMI, Smith has piloted the development of online digital tools to benefit BMI affiliates and music customers. Considered an expert on performing rights administration, she has been a frequent guest speaker before such groups as the Society of Composers & Lyricists, the Association of Independent Music Publishers (New York and Los Angeles chapters), the California Copyright conference, The Church Music Publishers Association, the Production Music Association, and a number of performing rights organizations around the world. In addition to a handful of accolades from industry peers, Smith was honored two years in a row in Billboard's Women in Music as a Top 30 Power Player. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Belmont University's School of Music Business.

Hunter Williams is Senior Vice President, Strategic Development/Distribution and Research Operations at SESAC, the second oldest and fastest-growing performing rights organization in the United States. Now in his 20th year with the company, he oversees all royalty distribution operations, including the development of the company's distribution and survey methodologies, performance tracking across all applicable media, and the maintenance of the company's repertory and performance databases. He also oversees the company's research and analysis division, which helps drive strategic development by identifying new business opportunities. Under his leadership, SESAC has pioneered the use of digital fingerprint and watermark technologies to track and pay royalties for performances on radio, television, and new media. Prior to SESAC, he worked as a musician in Nashville and received his degree in Mass Communications and Music Business Administration at Middle Tennessee State University. He serves on the board of advisors of MEIEA (Music and Entertainment Industry Educators Association) and the music industry committee of the College Music Society. He is an alumnus of Leadership Music, Class of 2012.

Todd Brabec, former ASCAP Executive Vice President and Worldwide Director of Membership, is an Entertainment Law attorney, an award winning author of the best selling music business book "Music Money and Success: the Insiders Guide to Making Money in the Music Business"(7th edition/Schirmer Books), an Adjunct Associate Professor at USC where he teaches the course on Music Licensing, Music Publishing and Film, Television and Video Game Scoring and Song Contracts and is a Governing Committee member of the American Bar Association Entertainment and Sports Industries. During his 37 year ASCAP career, he was responsible for signing most of ASCAP's successful songwriters and film and television composers including Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Neil Young, Metallica, Tom Petty, James Taylor, Journey, Joni Mitchell, Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean), James Horner (Avatar, Titanic), James Newton Howard (Dark Knight), Randy Newman (Toy Story) and Alan Silvestri (Marvel's Avengers) among many others as well as increasing ASCAP's overall market share from 20% to market share competitive dominance in radio, television and worldwide top grossing feature films. In addition, he significantly changed most of ASCAP's distribution, payment and survey systems as well as eliminating practically all ASCAP payment and distribution policies, formulas and rules which were not in the best interests of songwriters and composers. He lectures extensively throughout the world at conferences, universities, foreign societies, law firms and management companies. Website: musicandmoney.com. Contact:toddbrabec@gmail.com

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