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What Performance Rights Society do you think is better? ASCAP or BMI?


What Performance Rights Society do you think is better? ASCAP or BMI?

Of these two Music Industry giants,does one offer better advantages? Why did you choose one over the other or does it matter?

Members: 77
Latest Activity: May 27, 2014

I started this group in the hopes of shedding light on the subject of Performance Rights Societies,specifically the big dogs,ASCAP and BMI. I think most musicians know the names,but many know very little about how these companies work,and what the actual benefits of being a member are. Does one offer a generally larger share of royalties than the other? How helpful are these companies? Does one company offer more service or is one less expensive to be a member of? Does one "go to bat" more enthusiastically for it's members than the other? Is one more flexible and/or does one offer more features that a member can take advantage of? Is there anyone who has switched from one to the other,and why? Has anyone had a good or bad experience they would like to share with us? I would also like to hear about small,independant companies of this type. Can they even come close to offering an artist what ASCAP or BMI can,and are they even worth considering?

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Comment by Dan Goodman on January 3, 2009 at 12:49pm
Woody, I think i would have to say BMI, We have had our material published with them for 5 years now and we are very pleased with them !..Dan
Comment by Carolyn walden on December 31, 2008 at 9:30pm
of the commercial radio stations in the USA 80% are own by 2 companies Clear Channel & Infinity Broadcasting. Most radio stations do not accept CD's sent to them by mail for airplay, most stations get their music from Spin Tracking system which allow stations to download songs to be aired. they also track your songs. all of my songs are on spin tracking systems and i get air play nation wide their is a cost for this service there is a free service that you may submit your songs to
Comment by Carolyn walden on December 31, 2008 at 9:21pm
When ASCAP was first formed it did not consider R&B & Blues as american music and therefore these artist could not join ASCAP until BMI was formed and was open to all music art forms, many Black artist such as Little Richard, Chuck Berry and the artist that first recorded blues never received royalty for their songs. So the answer is BMI
Comment by Billy Arr on December 31, 2008 at 7:46pm
In Answer To: Pat Reid. No, Pat. As a member of SOCAN rest assured that as a Canadian your music is covered WORLDWIDE. You could only join one of the others if you were totally free of SOCAN.
I don't mean that you cannot live in Canada and be a member of a U.S. performance rights society, you could, if you were free, but it's absolutely unnecessary. All monies received, by all companies, worldwide, are forwarded to your particular affiliation. Foreign royalties will of course always arrive quite a bit later (up to a year and a half?) than your local Country royalties. Hope this helps. Billy Arr
Comment by john covert and crystal image on December 30, 2008 at 4:55pm
Hi Woody

BMI has worked well for me. Been with them as a songwriter and publisher since 1968.

happy new year
crystal image
Comment by JD Music Boston on December 30, 2008 at 9:33am
As a former dj/radio personality, I had better experiences with BMI. I joined BMI 6 months ago...our communication has been minimal. I do think that I had to sign with "the big guys" if I ever want my music to be heard. I'm way too old to sell CDs from my car, organize a street team, etc. It's really my only shot. And, of course, it's a LONG SHOT. I guess dreamers never stop dreaming. Best, Jacey
Comment by Billy Arr on December 29, 2008 at 8:58am
Correction to "life of a record" below. I typoed a 3, should be 13 weeks.

When you "ship" a record, or "release" a record, you MUST notify your performance rights ASAP. Title of the song, vocalist, publisher name, label name, date of release, record number, etc. They'll provide the form, all you have to do is go on line, print it out and send it to them. Without this information they cannot alert their system to monitor the song and you'll never get paid.

As far as I know, neither of them can provide you with a list of "WHAT" has been played, or "WHERE" it's being played, nor how many given times it has been played in certain given areas. This information is usually only provided to singers and publishers who have hired a radio promotion company to track their record for what we call the "life of the record". (generally 13 weeks) These promo companies do not work cheap and, in my opinion, are usually not worth the expense for an "independent" writer-artist or small Indie publisher. Writers & publishers seldom earn much from airplay on small local stations. Even if you notified BMI or one of the others that
your hometown station and 3 more in the surrounding Counties were literally "burning up" your CD, at 4 cents per play it still adds up to an amount that doesn't warrant sending you an immediate check. In fact it may be totaled up and applied as credit due for your annual fee. So, to finalize, unless your song is playing in 10 or 20 MAJOR CITIES & MARKETS, don't expect the Performance Societies to get overly excited about what they owe you. But, you will receive a check when you get a lot of airplay on a lot of Big stations, you can bet on it.
Hope this helps some . . . Billy Arr
Comment by Support on December 28, 2008 at 7:09pm
Comment by Billy Arr on December 25, 2008 at 3:47pm
Sometimes, I honestly think that they pay on CHARTED SONGS only. If you're on Billboard magazine in the top 100 you'll be paid accordingly as your song rises to the top with a bullet, or falls to the bottom with an anchor. Now, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.
Forgive me everyone, sometimes I get a bitter taste in my mouth at this damned fiasco they mistakenly call the "Music Biz".
Comment by Moe Minor on December 25, 2008 at 2:16pm
Merry Christmas ya'll.
I was told that in the digital age the Big 3 and Media or Distribution houses use algorithms to determine who and what is being played or sold when and where. You must then reach some magic number of units sold or # of plays on mainstream networks.
I've noticed through a gadget called "Google Alerts" that a single of mine which started on a few of these mainstreams has mangaged to "self promote" to a few others. Funny thing is the song is not on any label, but it's mine as composer and lyricist. The musicians all signed waivers prior to leaving the studio.

As an interesting sidenote: Station WABG (link )has purchased WROX and will be revitalizing that old station once run by Ike Turner and are also acquiring an FM Station in Memphis. I'll be recording an interview with WABG this weekend laying down the actual story line behind the song, which in turn will be an advance promo whenever the song comes up in rotation. To me it's more about exposure of the message than the $$$ but I sure could use a few to keep the lights on!

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