UK prs member, choose ascap or bmi for US collection?

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    Hi Folks,
    I am sure this question has been asked numerous times but I need to get some advice and thoughts.
    I am UK based writer signed to PRS.
    My film /TV placements have all been for US made productions and acquired by US libraries.
    I am in the process of registering a new instrumental on PRS and am asked to select either BMI or ASCAP to collect US royalties. I think the default selection on prs is ascap and I don’t remember having been asked to select each time I register a new work.
    I contacted the library who has accepted the track into their catalogue and they are OK with whatever option I choose. as long as I let them know if I switch so they can register the track with BMI.
    I am unsure whether it is worth deviating from the default ascap setting but have read that BMI pay better for background music with vocals than ASCAP.. Most of my placements have been just that so wondering if it’s worth switching.
    Would there be any delays in receiving payments if I do so or any other disadvantages? I am assuming that all my US royalties will then be collected .by BMI from that point onwards? The same library does also get some placements for my instrumentals but I think my best earners currently are with vocals.
    Any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.


    Hi Folks
    Any thoughts on my question anyone?
    I guess the question has been asked a lot but I am unsure how to find previous posts on this subject if that is the case.
    Thank you


    I don’t remember very well but I think that option was there when I first registered tracks myself. I think I just left it as it was.

    But if your tracks are published by a library, they should be registering them everywhere for you. Usually a library will have a subpublisher in each territory to do the registrations. Is that not the case with your US publisher?

    It’s strange that they would let you do it yourself in my experience. Are they allowing you to take 100% of back end in the UK then? Since AFAIK writers cannot register the interest of a publisher when registering tracks with PRS.


    Also another thing – I thought PRS just collects whatever money it is sent by ASCAP or BMI. The important point will be which of those two your US publisher has your tracks registered at. Which one are they using? ASCAP or BMI?


    Hi Tbone,
    Thanks for your responses., much appreciated.
    . I think the default selection with PRS is to select ASCAP as the US PRO, I don’t remember being asked to select a US PRO when registering tracks in recent years (maybe when I first joined prs years ago)
    When I asked the US library for advice on the subject they said I can select either, if changing from ascap to bmi then I would just have to let them know so they can register my tracks with BMI..
    I am tempted to change to BMI if they pay better for source music with vocals placements but at the same time, if there is not much difference then I think it best to leave things as they are (not try to fix what seems to be working).
    The issue seems to be an ongoing and long lasting discussion with no clear distinction or favourite.
    I am in the middle of registering a new track with PRS and am eager to get the track out in the marketplace (and not bug the library by delaying). Might give it another day to think about it but probably no major loss either way.

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