ASCAP and their inadequate survey system

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  BEATSLINGER 2 weeks, 6 days ago.

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  • #28047 Reply


    I’ve been seeing hundreds of placements and literally hours and hours of air time on a few cable networks since 2013 (a lot on BTN) and never being paid for them. After many discussions and research with other industry people I have to conclude that ASCAP’s survey system is to blame.

    I’ve made a lengthy post on Facebook about this here :-

    I’d appreciate people spreading the word as this is something ASCAP need to change. Any comments about what else might have happened are welcome, but I have gone over this in some detail over some time.

    #28048 Reply

    Art Munson

    Thanks for the post but this is old news. Many composers that have placements on cable type shows have switched to BMI or SESAC because of ASCAP’s survey system. ASCAP does seem to pay better for film, or so I’ve been told.

    #28050 Reply


    I figured there would be a lot of people who would already know about this, and I’ve heard some other horror stories too. Hope you don’t mind me regurgitating old news, it can’t help to raise awareness until ASCAP sort themselves out.

    #28098 Reply


    ASCAP does more surveying than BMI, so you’re less likely to make money on lower tier cable channels. The folks at ASCAP justify it like this – they’ll lose money by doing the paperwork on every minute of music used on lower tier cable channels like the BTN. They also told me that if you do get music to show up in their infrequent surveys, you’ll likely match or get more than what a BMI writer would.

    Here are some other differences we’ve found when comparing BMI and SESAC to ASCAP:

    ASCAP pays a THM rate for themes (only on TV), which is a really nice bump if you get it, which BMI doesn’t do.

    SESAC takes longer to pay, about one quarter later than BMI and ASCAP. SESAC will claim they pay more. I’ve heard mixed things about this but they are definitely paying a bit more (maybe temporarily) for my UPPM tracks that got switched over last year.

    When I met with SESAC they told me they were starting to pay royalties on trailers, something ASCAP and BMI don’t do.

    BMI has what seems to be more accurate, easier to read statements. That said, all the PROs like some ambiguity in their statements. It’s almost as if they like us to be confused…

    #28100 Reply


    Once again I am grateful for the “”Transparent Candor” that happens on the MLR Forum!! Growing some-what tired of SESAC, and not really seeing the benefits. When hearing about the new ASCAP Royalty Rates; I figured it was a good time to think about jumping ship. I am VERY glad that I did my research before switching into a even worse situation!!

    Still thinking about going back to BMI. I am awaiting results/royalty reports from some major placements, and will make my decision then..

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