Looking to switch from ASCAP to BMI

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  • #29089 Reply

    I’m looking into making the transition from ASCAP to BMI. From the little amount of research I’ve done, it seems like it could be a messy process. I’ve got a couple of questions for those that have done this:

    Between the time I alert ASCAP of my intention and when I can actually make the transition, do I NOT continue to register works with ASCAP? Basically, do I have to hold off from making any deals until the switch is complete?

    Is there some sort of transition mechanism where all of my works and cue sheet data gets ported over? Please don’t tell me I have to re-register everything 🙁

    Thanks in advance

    #29093 Reply

    Hello to all. I don’t have much experience on this, because my transition to another PRO was really easy; and they DID actually “Port me in”. BUT, I have had a few colleagues talk about this, and from what they told me it really depends on the size of your catalog.

    Also, I have a few friends that did make the transition from ASCAP to BMI, and they said that ASCAP still takes care of the older works; and that BMI deals with all the new compositions/tracks..

    I know there are a few here that will be able to give insight on this. Since I was invited to join my current PRO; my story might be different..

    #29094 Reply
    Happy Ears

    Basically, there are two options:
    A.You either move all your (legacy) works with you to the new PRO (You get one check from BMI)
    B You leave all legacy works with ASCAP and only your new works goes to BMI (Basically after a certain date when you are all BMI). (You get two checks; one from ASCAP for your legacy works and one BMI check for new works or the ones you decided to move over to BMI

    Depending on your catalog ex if you have a Hit song perhaps ASCAP pay better (?) then leave that song at ASCAP then move your Production Music Instrumentals to BMI.

    What would make me a little worried (my own theory) in A. would be in the scenario where you have a ASCAP publisher collecting for your ASCAP writer share but once that work goes to BMI how would the publisher collect unless getting them involved to update their records with the PRO too?….
    Whenever works are “questionable” they go into to the unclaimed royalties black box (Which the PRO gets unless claimed) and I’m worried a switch to BMI from an ASCAP writer would put the works in the “Black Box quarantine”. Also if publisher forgets to update their records etc…… I think I would go with option B just to avoid that to be sure…

    #29478 Reply
    David Rockower

    I also am considering a switch, as I have seen shows show up on my international report for 2 years that no one in the us seems to know anything about. I also have multiple pending tickets with ascap because after three years and hundreds of cue sheets, Im making more playing in a bar than I am for an entire quarter.

    Ive heard other writers say that BMI has a more accurate payout system for cable tv, which the majority of my work is in at this time. Im fine with leaving old works with ASCAP and just moving on, to avoid dollars vs. hours of headaches.

    What are peoples experience after making a switch?

    #35398 Reply

    Hi Guys,

    I’m rebooting this thread because I am considering a switch from ASCAP to BMI. How did it work out for anyone that might have done it? Any pitfalls that were unforeseen? In general, for those of you in BMI…..any gripes with them overall?

    Lastly, I have a catalog of 450 tracks (probably 2000 + if you count variations/cut downs). I’m somewhat worried that switching this catalog over will be a painful experience.

    Thanks for any thoughts!


    #35733 Reply

    I am also considering a switch but from BMI to ASCAP. I’ve got an ASCAP counterpart that i’ve cowritten with and have equal shares with on several Network Theme songs as well as cues in those episodes and he consistently out earns me for those shows. In 2019 it he earned more than 10k+ than I did for these placements. I’ve been trying to get it resolved ever sense but one consistent response I’ve gotten is that they don’t match funds. Though they say this I know other writers that say that they have matched funds. I think with respect to which PRO I guess it depends on the nature of your placement but i’m super frustrated with all this. Anyone dealt with anything like this?

    If you are ASCAP now and not happy, what are the reasons?

    #35735 Reply

    I kind of think it all depends on where most of your placements are coming from. From my experience, I earn more from ASCAP foreign royalties than BMI foreign distributions, but domestically, I feel as though BMI pays better than ASCAP for USA TV shows and USA TV spots and promos. BMI covers more TV networks and does not rely on the survey method. So if most of your placements are USA TV shows, I’d lean towards BMI. If you get a lot of action in foreign markets, I’d stick with ASCAP.

    #35990 Reply

    Since days I am not getting into the ascap website anymore, anybody else seeing this?
    Oh no! We’re doing maintenance.

    #35991 Reply

    They are doing maintenance until Tuesday

    #37141 Reply

    Hey guys, I was hoping someone could weigh in as to whether I should switch to BMI or not. I’ve been doing this for about 3 years now. My placements are probably 2/3 international, 1/3 US. From what I read, some say ASCAP is better for international royalties. I have about 1,100 registered tracks on ASCAP (some re-titles and alt versions). I have until the end of March to decide whether I want to switch. Any help is appreciated!

    #37142 Reply
    Art Munson

    This has been discussed many times here. Try this link:

    #37143 Reply

    If your placements are mainly vocals as opposed to instrumentals you definitely should switch to BMI. As you may know, some years back, ASCAP stopped paying more for vocals than instrumentals. With instrumentals (e.g. cues), not sure if it’s worth it though many have switched and told me they were glad they did. I have no idea how BMI and ASCAP compare on international royalties.

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