PRO Mishap, Universal Publisher with SESAC

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    Has anyone had an issue with having SESAC as the publisher for their music? I am with ASCAP and was tracking down a missed payment (for a filed cue sheet). After some time they referred me to this article.

    Apparently as of 2016 several Universal labels switched their publishing over to SESAC.

    Has anyone experienced this?
    Am I expected to receive payments directly from SESAC? I don’t have an account with them obviously.

    Also came across this similar article which is directed towards those affected composers.

    It says that the composers don’t need to do anything, which I definitely don’t believe lol.

    Here was the chain of interactions I’ve had so far.

    – submitted ASCAP claim, they told me to check with the publisher.
    – Checked with the publisher who was “unsure how this affects my domestic royalties.” They told me to check with SESAC.
    – Tried contacting SESAC by phone and got someone who had no idea about anything at all.

    Now here I am. Any help would be appreciated!


    According to the second link in your post:

    “For new works (i.e. works registered after April 1, 2016): SESAC will make payments directly to you.
    For existing works (i.e. works registered before April 1, 2016): SESAC will make payments directly to you, unless these performances are subject to an ASCAP “license-in-effect” (see question 9 below).”

    Also I see this stated:

    “Q: Is there anything I need to do to effectuate this change?

    A: No, all necessary payment information will be given to SESAC so that they can account to you directly.”

    So apparently SESAC should pay you royalties for the tracks in question. There is a SESAC contact listed on that page too. I would write to that contact and any other SESAC email you may have, include a link to that page and say you are requesting this issue be resolved and payment made to you at their earliest convenience… Also I would cc the Universal contact email listed on the second link you posted too.

    I’m not a lawyer etc, but this is what I would try to do.


    Thanks TBone! Posting an update, I did basically what you said a few days ago and got the issue resolved. Coincidentally the phone number they listed is no longer in service but the email worked.

    Anyway, now I will be issued a SESAC account for the tracks in this particular library and they will collect US royalties for those tracks. I guess you can be a member of 2 PROs as a composer in certain circumstances.


    That’s good to hear. I don’t think you are techincally a member of both, but you can have a payment account at multiple PROs within the US, but that’s not the same as being a member.

    Hopefully SESAC pays you any previously unpaid royalties from prior years! If there are any..


    You asked: “Has anyone had an issue with having SESAC as the publisher for their music? ”

    How is it possible that SESAC could be “Publisher” of your works?

    SESAC is a Performing Rights Organization that collects royalties and distributes them to writers and publishers for Broadcast TV performances, streaming services, live concert performances, radio air play, etc…

    SESAC is NOT a publisher.

    There is a lot of BS going on with SESAC and that is probably due to the fact that Wall Strret (BLACKSTONE) has their hands in the slush fund. They have one goal in my opinion – Keep more money for Blackstone, and distribute less to writers and publishers.

    Leading Music Rights Organization SESAC to be Acquired by Blackstone

    There has been a weird obsession that wall street now has as of late with music royalties. They want “in” on the 5 Billion that SESAC, BMI, and ASCAP collect. The CEO of Goldman Sachs, David Solomon is a “DJ” and GS has been “advising” BMI as to how to convert to “For Profit”

    Essentially they are in BMI executive offices whispering into managements ears: “pssssst – Just pay the writers less of what you collect.”


    I worded that incorrectly Music1234. I know SESAC is a PRO, I meant to ask if anyone has had issues collecting their royalties when the publisher was registered with SESAC. I was always under the impression that your PRO collected all of your royalties for you, regardless of which PRO the publisher was registered with.

    As far as the Blackstone and Goldman Sachs stuff goes, we will see what happens. I’d rather not spend my mental energy worrying about that.

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