ASCAP and their inadequate survey system

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This topic contains 100 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Dannyc 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #30085 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    Thanks for this Art – I will investigate further….. Do you have any experience with these types of services or others of the same ilk?

    No but I have found out more about SongTrust here http://passivepromotion.com/what-artists-should-know-about-songtrust.

    This guy’s site has explored all the different aspects from a songwriter/artist point of view point of view and has spent his own money checking them out. Worth a look http://passivepromotion.com.

    #30086 Reply

    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    I may move this reply to the Spotify thread.

    #31098 Reply

    Alan
    Participant

    Here is an update from my NBA Channel question:
    – Tunesat has detected 81 individual placements on the NBA channel for a total of 346 airings. Earliest was April 2017, most recent was last week. Many are 1-2 minutes long.
    – About 50 of those placements have cue sheets filed with ASCAP
    – I have received ZERO royalties from ASCAP

    I spoke with an ASCAP representative over the summer who said I should see some payments on October 2018…..nope.

    I called ASCAP today. The representative politely told me he hears this a lot. The NBA channel (and most sports channels) pay very little and are ranked very low on the priority for the ASCAP survey. I “whined” a bit more and he gave me the NBA channel survey list for 2017. Here it is:
    1/25/2017 6am – noon
    4/11/2017 6am to noon (Tunesat picked up 19 airings on 4/12/2017, ouch!)
    5/22/2017 6pm to 11:59:59 pm
    8/13/2017 6pm to 11:59:59 pm
    That’s it for the year. Tunesat picked up 226 airings in 2017 and it misses about 10%-20% in my experience.

    Side note, I also have 20-30 placements on Golf, Fox Sports1 and BTN with the same issue.
    I asked him to mark my call as a formal complaint, though I’m not sure if they have that system in place.

    How hard would it be to move my catalog to BMI? My 300-ish tracks have over 3000 Title registrations, nearly 1000 cue sheets, plus many publishers and sub-publishers. It seems like an impossible undertaking. Thoughts?

    #31099 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    If it makes you feel any better, I have 90 cue sheets for these types of placements. I sent ASCAP a document listing the Series Title, Series Code, Date, and Program Code from each cue sheet and got the same nonsense from them as you did.

    “Research is ongoing for the additional spreadsheet you sent us and we will notify you of our findings asap”

    “Our further research indicates your performances were not found in the Sample/Survey conducted.”

    As for moving your catalog, I’m not sure you should based it on this situation only. I mean if they did pay me it would have probably been $100-$200. It’s not fair missing out on that but is it enough money to go through the trouble? And I’m sure BMI has unfair issues of its own.

    #31101 Reply

    pgbanker
    Participant

    How hard would it be to move my catalog to BMI? My 300-ish tracks have over 3000 Title registrations, nearly 1000 cue sheets, plus many publishers and sub-publishers. It seems like an impossible undertaking. Thoughts?

    It sounds like you might have a lot of retitling going on in which case it could prove to be difficult but then again I could be wrong. I’m actually going through the process right now. As it turns out you can’t actually just move the entire catalog on your own. When you resign from ASCAP as a writer, they give you an option to keep your catalog with ASCAP or remove it. I chose to remove my catalog. But what they don’t tell you is that your publisher(s) also has to resign the works from ASCAP after you make the switch to BMI. And the publisher has a 3 month window during the year to submit for resignation… just like you have a 3 month window as an ASCAP writer… so the publisher has to wait for that window to open. AND even after ALL of that waiting, to start getting paid by BMI on those works that you and your publisher move, you have to wait for the licenses that ASCAP has in place with the networks which your music is airing on to expire. I have been told by ASCAP it could be up to 5 years before those licenses end. Or 1 year or 2 years. I’m still trying to weed through the process. So at the end of the day, there is no telling how long it will take. However, if you are in it for the long haul and your tracks are going to continue to be used on those networks then it makes sense in my opinion to do it. Or at least do it with the works that you have placing on those networks where ASCAP is not paying you. I have one work which is in 155 cue sheets. My BMI co-writer on that particular work has made over 5K in backend royalties over the last 2 years. I have been paid 125 bucks by ASCAP. I have several works that are performing similarly. So in my opinion, it makes sense to move them over to BMI. I know ASCAP won’t pay on them, so it’s nuts to leave them there in my opinion. But they certainly make the process long and difficult. I haven’t come out the other side yet on the moving of the catalog, still in the muck of it all, probably will be for years to come. So yeah, to answer the question “how hard would it be?”… I think it just depends on how much patience you have 😉

    #31102 Reply

    Kubed
    Participant

    @alan & Michael Nicholas: i have 100+ hits on NBA since 2016.Never saw a penny from these placements and i’m with BMI. Haven’t contacted BMI regarding this but i take it some sports networks pay peanuts and PRO’s just don’t bother to collect these royalties.

    #31103 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    Thanks Kubed, misery loves company. 🙂

    #31104 Reply

    Alan
    Participant

    If it makes you feel any better, I have 90 cue sheets for these types of placements. I sent ASCAP a document listing the Series Title, Series Code, Date, and Program Code from each cue sheet and got the same nonsense from them as you did.

    Nah, I don’t feel better, just worse for you and Kubed.
    pgbanker, thanks for the great info. Please continue to share this process and your progress.

    I probably will not make the change. In my frustration failed to mention that I have hit the survey “lottery” a few times. I have gotten the occasional 3 figure payout from small cable channels for survey hits. Does that make up for lost royalties? Who knows? The NBA channel is using one of my tracks a lot, so my odds are improving. I’ll report back if I get lucky with the survey.

    I will say that I was much happier about my royalties before I had a Tunesat account, haha.

    #31105 Reply

    LAwriter
    Participant

    but i take it some sports networks pay peanuts and PRO’s just don’t bother to collect these royalties.

    Oh they COLLECT. Now payout as you have seen is another matter. But you can be assured that all the PRO’s collect. How much they collect is a shrouded mystery though, so it’s hard to know how much we are losing.

    #31106 Reply

    Vlad
    Participant

    This is such a terrible thread. So much work is done to craft professional tracks and pound the pavement to get them in the right hands for a placement. Then bam! No money. Maybe I’m short sighted, but there just can’t be another industry where a professional product is being used by a client and the party responsible for collecting the money is just flat out failing (in some cases, not all).

    #31108 Reply

    Music1234
    Participant

    You guys motivated me to look at statements and I can confirm that I have cue sheets for “NBA Gametime” but have not been paid ASCAP royalties for Q 4 2017 plays nor Q1 2018 plays.

    I did get royalties for “NBA Gametime” from BMI and some do pay well $32, $17 , $19 for background instrumentals.

    So yes indeed, ASCAP is not paying for NBA TV even though cue sheets are on file. This is very annoying and really just amounts to overt mismanagement of royalties collected. If BMI is collecting and paying for this program, why wouldn’t ASCAP?

    #31109 Reply

    Anoeljr45

    I have a couple of hundred cues on the BigTen Network sports channel and haven’t been paid. Here is the response I received from ASCAP. What’s the use of sending in cue sheets if ASCAP dosen’t acknowledge them?

    BTN is a sample survey station and a random 6 hour sample is conducted for that station each quarter. Anything that falls into that random sample survey receives royalties. This survey is based on the license fee that BTN pays to ASCAP. While you may have a number of cue sheets for programs on this station, if the program does not fall into the sample survey done for the station, then the performances are not eligible for royalties.

    #31110 Reply

    Alan
    Participant

    BTN is a sample survey station and a random 6 hour sample is conducted for that station each quarter. Anything that falls into that random sample survey receives royalties. This survey is based on the license fee that BTN pays to ASCAP. While you may have a number of cue sheets for programs on this station, if the program does not fall into the sample survey done for the station, then the performances are not eligible for royalties.

    And yet, now 30+ pages of my statement is devoted to internet and streaming royalties that ad up to about $10. ASCAP will boast how they pay us $0.00045 for HULU streams, but uses a 24 hour sample to determine an entire years’s worth of Royalties on a cable channel for ALL ASCAP writers. So much for the “Music Modernization Act.”

    I’m thinking of writing a letter to the ASCAP board of directors complaining about this. Of course it won’t do any good, but I will include a link to this thread so they know we are noticing and talking about their failure. I’ll have to “cool off” before I do it, and I’m not a very good professional writer. Anyone know a music lawyer out there who would draft a letter on our behalf, pro bono? 😉

    #31111 Reply

    MichaelL
    Participant

    So much for the “Music Modernization Act.”

    The MMA has nothing to do with Cable TV. It involves interactive Digital Music Providers (streaming) and digital downloads of music. More specifically, it covers “non-dramatic” musical works, which is generally understood to mean works not incorporated into other productions, like TV shows and films, etc.

    I switched from ASCAP to BMI in 2011 because, at the time, I had 140K performances per year of syndicated non-network TV theme music (still only paying pennies per). Cue sheets and air dates were provided to ASCAP by the producer, all of which was easily verifiable. ASCAP, of course, insisted on its survey and missed 70-75% of the performances. BMI was much better at detecting and counting the performances, but then they changed their royalty calculation to include show ratings and my payout dropped 75%. So, for that situation it was perhaps a wash.

    The process pgbanker described is fairly accurate. BMI was great at transferring my catalog, even finding decades-old tracks that I’d long forgotten about. With the exception of having to wait for the windows to line up, the process was seamless and there were no missed payments because of the switch.

    #31112 Reply

    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    FWIW I’ve read that SESAC doesn’t use survey like ASCAP or sampling like BMI but relies on cue sheets.

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