Largest single-use PRO amount you've seen?

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  • #8125 Reply

    Hello and Happy New Year.  I was wondering what is the largest single-use amount you’ve seen on a PRO statement, and what kind of use was it?  For simplicity’s sake, let’s say writer only.  My personal best is $17, which was for a national 15-second TV commercial, background instrumental, which was placed by an exclusive library.  Thankfully, it ran for a couple months.  But I know the range must go much higher than that.  Does it ever exceed $100?  Perhaps for a super bowl use?  All of my PRO experience is commercials thus far, so I’m also curious how TV show placements compare.  Thanks!!

    #8126 Reply

    Sorry – That should say “Single-Use” in the header. 🙂

    #8128 Reply
    Art Munson

    Sorry – That should say “Single-Use” in the header.

    Fixed it

    #8129 Reply

    But I know the range must go much higher than that.  Does it ever exceed $100?  Perhaps for a super bowl use?

    The amount paid depends on 1) the type of broadcast, i.e. major network, cable etc, 2) the time of day, 3) whether or not the performance is a feature, theme or background.

    Something like the Super Bowl would have no effect, other than it’s in prime time. About ten years ago I had three cues, about three minutes total in the Golf Digest 50th anniversary show, which was a CBS Sports Spectacular special. I think ASCAP paid about $800 for all three cues. I don’t remember/know if the show was broadcast more than once. I don’t think so.

    Michael Nicholas has an excellent pamphlet for sale, that breaks down what things pays. Also you can go to the ASCAP or BMI website and read up on how they calculate royalties.

    You don’t make much money from a single broadcast.






    #8131 Reply

    Thanks Michael L.

    To be specific, the $17 credit(s) I cited above was 1) major network.  2) prime time (during shows like “Amerca’s Got Talent”), and 3) BI.

    The CBS sports use you cited is impressive indeed.  I know those kinds of credits are rare, but good to know that they exist.

    #8132 Reply

    @wilx2, the CBS Sports placements were actually custom cues that came through an exclusive library that I was a “staff” writer for back in the 90’s.  Ah….those were the days! 😆

    #8134 Reply
    Michael Nickolas

    Like Michael . I saw single uses for $800 plus, back in the day (8-10 years ago). These were on daytime soaps, ABC, NBC, CBS…

    #8140 Reply
    Mark Petrie

    Themes on network shows go over a grand per use, I got lucky once and had the theme on a series that played one season. I’ve heard that songs used to go for more than that if they were featured cues.

    #8141 Reply
    Mark Petrie

    Dont discount the little bits of money here and there though, I still get a stack of pages for a 4 second usage within an infomercial! It airs on what looks like every major cable channel every night of the week. The guys that write the peppy stuff that makes up most of the background music for infomercials are no doubt laughing all the way to the bank.

    #8142 Reply

    mine was $30..i’m pretty sure…I saw my ASCAP payout yesterday and it floored me..almost a thousand dollars! – I didn’t know you could make that kind of money on the backend..sorry if that sounds like bragging but i’m still in awe about it..I also finished a bunch of songs in the past year (my strongest stuff) and hope for good things in the future..


    happy new year 🙂 Jay

    #8144 Reply

    Nice one Jay !!!

    I dont think I have ever seen a three figure payment for one play, Radio One plays in the UK are very good if you are a pop writer. Very high.

    #8154 Reply

    Mine was 428$ for a 1:19 placement on The CW – 90210. I love BMI.

    #8156 Reply
    Stuart Moore

    On my latest statement I got my best ever payout mainly due to a placement on Dance Moms for a little over $500. This was because it was a featured visual vocal. I also had a good one on my international statement earlier in the year for a uk show called super casino for about $250 per episode and was used in 15 episodes 🙂 Wish I got these kind of placements more often!!!

    #8158 Reply

    @theone. Nice!! Was your cue an instrumental or vocal?

    #8160 Reply
    Chad Hannah

    I had 46 seconds of vocal background music placed on an episode of Castle during prime time.  It aired twice and brought in $1620 through ASCAP in the Fall of 2009.  Definitely my biggest payout.

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