Tuesday, August 28

Know Your PROs!

If for some reason you aren't registered with a PRO(Performing Rights Organization) I advise you to make a change TODAY!! The great news is you have options but may not know the benefits of each one. We have listed info about ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC below.  After reading you can make your decision and hopefully this will assist you with the process to get paid!

PROs are “societies responsible for collecting income on behalf of songwriters and music publishers when a song is publicly broadcast.” That means PROs track down cash for you when your music is played on television and AM/FM airwaves, through internet radio services like Pandora, at a club, inside a restaurant, or publicly broadcast in some other fashion. These places and stations pay fees to PROs, who in turn pay their registered songwriters, most of whom are owed more money than they know.

ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Launched: 1914
Official site: http://ascap.com
Location: New York, London, Miami, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Nashville, Atlanta
Vitals: With a 410,000-strong membership of composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers, this non-profit is, according to its website, the only American PRO created and controlled entirely by composers, writers, and publishers in music—its Board of Directors is elected by its members. “A music creator is like a small business,” reads ASCAP’s website, “and ASCAP exists to ensure that music creators are paid promptly when their works are performed publicly.”
Notable affiliates: Justin Timberlake, Vampire Weekend, Duke Ellington, Dave Matthews, George Gershwin, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Marc Anthony, Henry Mancini
Fee: One time, nominal fee of $35 as a writer, and  $35 as a publisher.
Pay Schedule: Click here for ASCAP’s writer and publisher pay schedules

BMI, Broadcast Music, Inc.
   Launched: 1939
   Official site: http://bmi.com
   Location: Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, London, Atlanta, Miami, Puerto Rico
   Vitals: Founded by radio executives as a non-profit, BMI now boasts more than 475,000 members, and is, according to its website, the most “technologically advanced” and “streamlined” performance rights organization. “Underlying everything BMI does is its philosophy,” reads the BMI website, “an open-door policy that welcomes songwriters, composers and music publishers of all disciplines, and helps them develop both the creative and business skills crucial to a career in music.” Check out Songtrust’s Q&A with BMI’s Associate Director of Writer Relations, Brandon Haas, here.
Notable affiliates: Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Eminem, Rhianna, Maroon 5, Sam Cooke, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton
Fee: “No fees or dues are required for songwriters and composers,” they say, but to join as a publisher, there’s a $250 application fee.
Pay Schedule: BMI pays royalties quarterly—as long as royalties exceed $2—and encourages direct deposit. If royalties do not exceed $2, they roll over to the next quarter.

Launched: 1930
Official site: http://sesac.com
Location: New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, London, Nashville
Vitals: As the smallest PRO in the U.S., SESAC has has a selective affiliation process and seeks to signs writers who are professional and serious about their writing career, which they say allows for “personal relationships” between affiliates and the SESAC staff. “With an international reach and a vast repertory that spans virtually every genre of music, SESAC is the fastest growing and most technologically adept of the nation’s performing rights companies,” reads the SESAC site. Note: the SESAC abbreviation is, today, meaningless; the organization was originally founded to serve European composers underrepresented in America before branching out to become a full service PRO.
Notable affiliates: Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Cassandra Wilson, Rush, MGMT, Mumford and Sons (via PRS).
Fee: None.
Pay Schedule: Quarterly. (January 1—March 31, distributed ~June 30; April 1—June 30, distributed ~September 30; July 1—September 30, distributed ~December 31; October 1—December 31, distributed ~March 31)

Source: Songtrust

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