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 and taverns 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

This is a critical period for the future of music and the policies that govern it. Issues are being debated by policymakers right now that will significantly impact how and where music is played and what users and consumers pay for it:

Terminating the consent decrees governing the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) would be extraordinarily disruptive for the entire music marketplace and would jeopardize the licensing system that enables millions of businesses across the country to efficiently play and pay for music performed publicly. The ultimate result of such action would be substantial consumer harm and would be nothing short of a nightmare scenario for the functioning of the music marketplace.

As the U.S. Congress continues its review of the copyright laws that govern music licensing, the MIC Coalition is hopeful that they advance reform legislation achieving a healthy balance in the new music economy. This includes the creation of a modern music copyright database to finally provide a transparent, accurate and fully searchable record of music ownership and licensing information available to everyone.

In late 2015, the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), the arm of the Library of Congress that determines webcaster royalty rates, announced new royalty rates that impacted music streaming services and the broader music ecosystem. The announcement provided Internet radio streaming services with much-needed certainty. The final rates offered greater compensation for recording artists, while still allowing for new investment and innovation in the online radio industry.


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, such as a copyright ownership database.
  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.