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 šŸ™

    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?

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