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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 T-Bone Stone on December 25, 2008 at 12:22pm
Merry CHristmas Billy, you are all knowing, i see were your going with this. it's more the money behind the music more than the music! my cd's were done with indie labels and they supposedly knew better than I . really appreciate your input, as far as i'm concerned that's all the info i need, thanks again!!
Comment by T-Bone Stone on December 24, 2008 at 7:08pm
this is for you Billy, you are definatly more knowing about BMI and soforth,how do you find out about any airplay , seems to me to be a big gap in the knowledge of when and if and where your songs are being played! i did talk to one of the reps of ASCAP down in L.A. and they were supposedly going to send me a list of some sort of songs played when and where but never got that copy! there really needs to be a better monitoring system for us smaller less known artists, cause we could really use the small chump change we'll get which i think is about a half-cent on the dollarXhow many times played, i really do appreciate your input because i am still confused about the wh*** scam of things for us!!
Comment by Billy Arr on December 24, 2008 at 12:01pm
Well, what Bun told you is not totally correct. I've received airplay from both ASCAP and BMI on songs that never even made the top 100 on the charts. I've also been paid from both of them on songs in the #50, 40s, 30s, 20s etc . . . What could hurt hurt you as a writer or an Indy singer however is the way they used to "monitor" stations for airplay. Each quarter they would select some choice A stations (big markets)
B stations (medium) and C stations (the smallest market), send monitoring personnel to each station area and they would isen to the station 24-7 and MONITOR what they played. Then they Guesstimated that all the other stations of similar size all over America were probably playing the same songs and paid us accordingly. Now, IF your record was NOT PLAYING in those selected markets, even if it was spinning like hell in a few other markets, there was no way they could know, and no way you could get paid for the play. On the other hand, IF you happened to be getting a spin or two in the selected markets, then they assumed you were getting play all over the country and you would get an UNfair amount of airplay money for that particular quarter. It happened to me when I had a record playing in Tulsa thru aDJ friend and they just happened to be monitoring Tulsa that quarter. Got a heckuva check for a song that was playing ONLY in Tulsa. Now, the societies have a new way of monitoring airplay, called Blue Ray, or something like that, more of a national kind of automatically monitoring, and nearly everything gets logged when played. So, keep the faith.
Comment by T-Bone Stone on December 24, 2008 at 3:04am
well, i've got 4 cd's out, my 1st one was in 92 with Bun E. Carlos playing drums called Live Bait, he told me that unless your Madonna or Micheal Jackson chances of seeing a dime out of B.M.I. or ascap are real slim unless of course you sell a million plus, makes sense to me cause i've heard some of my material on radio stations and needless to say, they AIN'T contacted me about STUD pay if you get my drift, but i'm waiting ! hope i see a dime before i die!
Comment by The Celturian on December 20, 2008 at 1:58pm
HI Woody,, I'm not familiar with ASCAP and's an American rights agency you have over their,for public performances and air time on radio,I'm from the UK and we use the P.R.S ...Public rights service in broadcastiing and air time on radio for royalties to be paid out at the end of the year,we have to sign a doc**ent before we play on radio including tracks to be performed and duration,the onlt come back with this is you have to pay a fee of £400 a year membership,i have played many times for the BBC radio and live festivals, but my agent does not like all the paper work to be sorted out in getting bands under the PRS to can be an headache, well i use it has an investment and let the money grow,the way i look at it,cheers woody (TC)
Comment by Billy Arr on December 20, 2008 at 1:03pm
The only drawback to being a SESAC member that I can see, is that
they generally don't have as many radio stations contracted to paying them as do the other two. Therefore, I would have to say that your writer performance money (royalties for airplay) will always be smaller than otherwise, especially if your song stays only IN the top 50 & above. However, if it's a definite Hit, and Radio starts playing it heavily, they must PAY TO PLAY, and that will UP your income considerably. Though I've never been a member, I do like the staff there, and their friendliness and geniality are beyond comparison, especially here in Music City.
Comment by Moe Minor on December 20, 2008 at 10:35am
I took the the ASCAP route, but honestly I like the idea of an independent "Society" suggested earlier in this thread as ARM. I've met some of these men in suits and they remind me of some kind of Music Mafia.

I'm still waiting to be paid for a single release that airs in various demographics and on Sirius radio. Someone told me the advantage of BMI is they pay sooner, but then it costs more to become a member. Guess it comes down to the question. . .which is the lesser of 3 evils?
Comment by Y Bridge on December 20, 2008 at 4:18am
Hi Woody, It don't matter I'm a songwriter/publisher (ASCAP) and I think they are both the same, they follow the money but what I've found out is if you are pushing Country songs you got to move to Nashville, I had a friend drive me to Nashville every month for 3 years and I banged on doors and got turned down over and over but I keep going and after a while I started to get to meet A&R people they was tard of seeing me there all the time and they all said the same thing, you got to live here and that goes with (ASCAP) to they ain't going to help you if you don't live there so good luck. My wife and I are moving to Nashville in May, but that don't mean anything These A&R guys arte listening to 1,000 new song's a week so I'd say if you want to make it as a songwriter you got to move there Take Care, Y Bridge
Comment by Word Man on December 19, 2008 at 7:47pm
Mo Beasley is a SESAC Songwriter! Check out Pictures, Images and Photos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

SESAC, originally the Society of European Stage Authors & Composers, is the smallest of the three performance rights organizations in the United States. SESAC was founded in 1930, making it the second-oldest performing rights organization in the U.S. SESAC is also the fastest-growing PRO in the United States. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, SESAC deals with all aspects of the business, from creation to licensing and administration. The company also has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Atlanta and Miami. [1]

SESAC touts its small size:

If the phrase 'quality vs. quantity' ever mattered, SESAC is the place. While SESAC is the smallest of the three U.S. performing rights organizations, size is its largest advantage. SESAC prides itself on developing individual relationships with both songwriters and publishers. [1]
Whereas ASCAP and BMI operate on a not-for-profit basis, SESAC retains some income as profit. [2] While ASCAP and BMI distribute all income from performance royalties to their composer and publisher affiliates (less an administrative fee), SESAC retains an undisclosed amount of performance royalty income.[citation needed] SESAC is also unique among the US performing rights organisations in that it does not offer open membership – one must be approved to join. [3]

SESAC originally strove to support underrepresented European artists, hence the original name. As this objective diminished, the company has represented a wider range of artists and genres. SESAC's affiliates roster includes Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Robert Johnson, Bryan-Michael Cox, Nate "Danja" Hills, Rush, Coheed & Cambria, Young Love, The Faint, Rapture, and more.[4]

Have a Great Weekend...
Your One and Only,
Word Man
Comment by shiloh on December 19, 2008 at 6:39pm
I'M A BMI MEMBER, BECAUSE THEY WERE CLOSER TO WHERE I PARKED REALLY DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO. ASCAP HAS A MEMBERSHIP FEE OF $25.00 and i can't remember if i payed anything at BMI or not it's been about 20 years ago and thanks Woody for the invite and i agree with the majority you are crazy ha ha happy holidays

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