Who We Are

MIC (pronounced “mike”, as in “microphone”) Coalition is a group of associations whose members provide music over the nation’s airwaves, through the Internet and in stores, hotels, restaurants, bars, wineries, taverns, concert halls, and live entertainment venues throughout the country. The Coalition is committed to a rational, sustainable and transparent system that will drive the future of music and ensure that consumers have continued access to music across a variety of platforms, venues and services.

Why We’re Here

We’re calling on legislators to adopt policies that promote a transparent and functional music marketplace that benefits consumers, creators, and millions of American businesses.

ASCAP and BMI together control the right to license approximately 90% of all musical works in the U.S. Consent decrees allow these two performing rights organizations (PROs) to offer blanket licenses for their massive catalogs, providing critical efficiencies for all stakeholders. We have worked tirelessly with the last two Administrations to promote music marketplace competition, transparency and efficiency by preserving the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. They remain vital to millions of American businesses and their consumers.

As the U.S. Congress continues its review of the copyright laws that govern music licensing, the MIC Coalition is hopeful that it advances reform legislation to bring greater transparency to the music marketplace. This includes creating a comprehensive and authoritative database to finally provide a transparent, accurate, and fully searchable record of music ownership and licensing information available to everyone.

A lack of transparency has been a longstanding problem within the industry. The first PRO was established in 1914 – over a century ago – and the music ecosystem continues to evolve in its complexity as new technologies transform the music marketplace. The lack of transparency provides PROs with an unfair advantage, and it forces venues and other small businesses to purchase the rights to more works than otherwise necessary, while often requiring other music licensees to overpay for the rights acquired or risk copyright infringement lawsuits and statutory damages.


American consumers benefit tremendously from exposure to music through a variety of platforms and in any venue—whether at home, in the car, walking the dog, shopping in a store, or at a hotel, restaurant or bar. For this music ecosystem to continue to grow and thrive, we must create a predictable, balanced and transparent music marketplace.

The entire music industry—from artists to distribution services to fans—benefits from greater transparency. To create a more vibrant and open marketplace, greater transparency is needed in the following areas:

  1. Who Owns What: Readily available ownership information is critical to facilitate more efficient licensing and accuracy in payment. Artists cannot be paid if users and distributors do not know who owns what or who should be paid. This up-to-date information should be available to the public in an easily accessible format.
  2. Where the Money Goes: Music users and distributors have paid, and continue to pay, to perform or provide music publicly. But clear information on where that money goes, how it is split and distributed and why, needs to be made available to recording artists and songwriters in an easily trackable format.
  3. Billing Practices: Clarity on what music users are required to pay creates healthy business relationships. Licenses with retail establishments and other venues, in particular, should appropriately reflect actual usage, identify the space in which the music is heard by the public, and disclose the frequency that music is played by a venue. An invoice should clearly state what a venue is required to pay by law or contract, and when they are exempt.

The opaqueness of the current music marketplace creates uncertainty that disproportionally harms small artists and independent publishers, stifles innovation and contributes to piracy. We join together with a collective voice because all stakeholders in the music marketplace benefit when current and accurate information about copyright ownership and payment to artists is easily accessible. Although a more transparent structure in itself does not guarantee fairer treatment, we believe this transparency is a necessary baseline in creating a more sustainable and equitable system.

MIC is the go-to informational resource for the media, policymakers, music lovers and creators who want to understand how changes to copyright and competition laws will impact the growing and vibrant digital music economy. Our members have united to be a powerful voice for positive change and greater balance and transparency in the music world.