Is signing up with a PRO worth my time?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  MichaelL 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #6971 Reply

    So far I have sold about 20 tracks at royalty free libraries like Revostock and Pond5, but I’m not a member of a PRO (KODA here in Denmark).

    I only compose for the stock music market and are wondering: is signing up with my local PRO (KODA) and registering the tracks worth my time?

    Do any of you actually make any money from your PROs, when your only composing for the royalty free libraries?

    Thank you for your time 🙂

    #6972 Reply


    YES, It is absolutely worth your while if not essential IMHO.Royalty free does NOT mean that if a broadcaster has to pay a PRO that they don’t. Royalty free in this context means that the client purchases a license to use the music under the terms of the individual library. Usually a once off payment in perpetuity. There was a situation here where a track licensed from Pond5 was used on Americas Got Talent. That would have been entitled to PRO payments.

    #6974 Reply

    Art Munson

    Yes, it’s worth it. I’ve had music, sold on RF sites, used for broadcast TV here in the U.S.

    #6977 Reply


    Thanks, I will go ahead a sign up and start registering my tracks.

    It also opens up for a lot of other libraries that are just as much about getting seen as making some dollars on the “one time” purchase of the tracks.

    Do you know if there is an advantage of being a member of a us PRO instead of the one(s) in you own country. Are the local PROs not better at picking up on the music being broadcast or is there no real difference?

    For new composers MLR is a great place, thank you for taking the time to help us out.

    #6985 Reply


    Anders, usually your local PRO will have an affiliation with BMI or ASCAP. Check with them. Depending on the individual PRO, you may not be able to be a member of two collection agencies at the same time. Every PRO has their own take on it.

    In Ireland (IMRO) ASCAP is the default partner in the States. You can change to BMI if you wish.

    #6986 Reply


    I think I will sign-up with BMI even though I’m a non us citizen.

    The PRO here in Denmark has some quite strict rules. For example you have to ask for permission to place your music on your own website as you give them the exclusive right of managing all public performances and new recordings of all of your music.

    BMI seems more open and it’s free to join.

    #6991 Reply


    I wonder , can you sign with  BMI or Ascap if youre not living in US ?

    I have been with spanish pro (SGAE) and not received a penny yet and I might have sold close to a hundred songs over last five years (PT,Pond5,beatsuite…)

    and I doubt they were all nonbroadcast licenses ,I even saw some cuesheets along the way and still not cent from SGAE.

    I wonder how efective are they in collecting foreign licenses or are they reluctant to pay composers and need to be chased with tunesat and phonecalls.

    #6998 Reply


    As a relative newbie to library music living outside the US I’ve been wondering about this also… Are there any experienced writers outside of the US registered with a non-US PRO who could enlighten us on this:

    How long do you find that it takes from that a track is licensed (in the US) and the show is aired, royalties get collected by ASCAP or BMI and forwarded to foreign PROs, until you actually get anything from own PRO?


    #6999 Reply


    Hi folks,
    Prs(England) and Gema (Germany) do a good job and those two countries are as well the biggest markets for production music in Europe. As a European citizen I recommend those Pros. But check their reglementations because they are both strict in some way. It is for sure ok with Bmi or Ascap but it depends for which market you’ll work more. I wait 2-3 years to get my U.S. Royalities. Welcome into the

    #7000 Reply

    You can sign with  BMI if you’re not living in US. You just can’t do it via the online form but have to fill out some papers and send it back to them due to some taxation issues.

    I will primarily be targeting the U.S. market and therefore BMI seems like a logical choice, but then again with most library music it could be broadcast anywhere in the world.

    From what I’m been able to figure out (from different forums), getting something from BMI or ASCAP can also take a couple of years.

    #7001 Reply


    And companies like Revostock or Pond5, in my opinion, prefer royality free music. Just check the best selling. 80% of the composers pretend not to be pro members. They are simply Production teams. I guess everybody understands what that means. It is good to split those two systems. With royality free companies you ll make money evtl.faster but it can happen that your tracks will run in programs they are not supposed to run and with exclusive libraries you ll make money
    for a long period if the company has good connections to tv broadcasters.
    My personal rule is like…for little and medium projects I licence my tracks to stock market and royality free companies and for the big stuff I licence with exclusive libraries.

    #24095 Reply


    It does seem that way. I have noticed the same thing. Lots of composers who are likely to be pro affiliated not posting their names or pros in pond5. I wonder why.

    #24098 Reply


    It does seem that way. I have noticed the same thing. Lots of composers who are likely to be pro affiliated not posting their names or pros in pond5. I wonder why.

    It’s a way of comforting clients who do not understand the PRO system and want to be assured that they will not be responsible for paying future roylaties.

    If you are going to put your music into non-RF libraries that focus on broadcast clients you need to join a PRO.

    #24099 Reply


    Thanks Michael. I read many of your posts and see you have some great experience. Which do you believe give the best results in the long run for the music posted on RF sites:

    1) Exclude PRO affiliation for potential increased sales due to the comfort factor with retail clients who do not understand PROs


    2) Include PRO affiliation which may hinder some sales due to the above, but potentially make up in back end royalties for the odd cases here and there where music ends up being broadcasted

    In other words, do you believe that back end royalties make up for potential sales loss? or vice versa? Looking at composers’ profiles, it seems people generally thing they earn more in extra sales than in back end, but I am not sure if this is a fact (considering some music end up being broadcasted) or just a short term view.

    In your view, and I understand it to be personal and reflect your experience, which of this is the best strategy for total results from RF sites sales?

    Do you think composers who do not mention PROs in Pond5 (example) register those same tracks with PROs regardless and are able to recoup back end royalties?

    Any others willing to share their view, it would be great to hear you.

    Thank you

    #24101 Reply


    Great question.

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