which PRO to join in the US

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  • #35127 Reply

    Greetings all!

    I am new to the world of production/library music, and based on what I have been reading, it sounds like I need to sign up with a PRO. I haven’t submitted any music to libraries yet but plan on doing so by mid-to-late summer (in case this is important in terms of the time it takes to be licensed, etc).

    I am US-based, so as far as I am aware, my options are one of these three: ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.

    Is there any significant difference between these three entities/why are there three organizations that on some level perform the same tasks? Also, what sort of fees should I expect? Annual dues, etc?

    Many thanks,


    #35353 Reply
    Bill Howard

    Look up Tynia Coats youtube videos. Has some good info.

    #35356 Reply
    Chuck Hughes

    I am registered with ASCAP.

    I have heard a couple times from ASCAP writers who said they co-wrote a music piece with a BMI writer, 50/50, and for the same use on tv the BMI writer was paid more money.

    #35357 Reply

    Flip a coin between ASCAP & BMI. Unless you have a crystal ball Tucker.

    #35396 Reply
    Leon Luis

    As a Publisher and Library owner, I have to have membership in BMI, ASCAP and even though I am an American because I am based in the UK I also belong to PRS
    As a composer myself, I belong to BMI for US collection and I belong to PRS for collection in the rest of the world
    BMI pays way better than ASCAP and unlike ASCAP BMI is quite helpful and will go above and beyond for their members whilst ASCAP is just plain arrogant and rude ASCAP also have a proclivity for missing payments and
    So in my opinion based on numerous experience I would avoid ASCAP
    Having said that I would also warn people from engaging with the BMI Los Angeles/W. Hollywood offices if you want the awesome member services I would contact the Nashville or New York offices if you are in the States and the London office if you are in Europe

    #35399 Reply
    Art Munson

    Having said that I would also warn people from engaging with the BMI Los Angeles/W. Hollywood offices if you want the awesome member services I would contact the Nashville or New York offices if you are in the States

    I agree, much better service from the Nashville office than L.A.

    #35400 Reply

    Although it’s invite only, I’d suggest joining SEASAC based on the fact that they accept TuneSat reports as claims for royalties.

    #35401 Reply

    Wondering how one gets an invite if they don’t know you exist.

    #35409 Reply

    I get statements from all 3 as publisher. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. I have been fortunate to observe statements and utilize their on line logins to: Register titles, browse my accounts and the data inside, study statements, etc….

    SESAC is not exactly “invite only” if you have an extremely professional looking presentation on your own web site and appear to be quite accomplished with lots of high end credits you can e-mail them and “apply” to become a writer and/ or publisher member. SESAC does pay royalties off of TUNESAT detection sheets as well as filed cue sheets and filed jingle/ tv spot claims. The communication with them is solid. If I have an issue, I can communicate by email or phone to resolve questions.
    SESAC Cons: They do not pay royalties for radio ads that air.

    ASCAP PROs: The pay 8 checks a year – 4 domestic royalty distributions for USA air dates and 4 international distributions. It’s nice to get 8 checks a year. They also display all USA TV Show cue sheets in your account so you can see all the shows using your music. They seem to do a great job with facilitating payments from foreign societies and often the foreign royalties are greater than the domestic royalties.

    ASCAP Cons: E-mail and phone Communication with ASCAP reps is more challenging. I often feel ignored by this PRO when I have questions about issues. They also neglect TV networks like BTN and other cable TV sports networks. Their rates of pay for TV spot royalties seems to be a lot weaker compared to BMI and SESAC.

    BMI PRO’s: They seem to pay for more money for USA domestic TV channels than ASCAP based on my statement observations.

    Cons: I have not been very impressed with foreign collections and I can not see any cue sheets in my on line account so the only data I see is 4 royalty statements each year.

    It really does seem to be a coin toss but if I really had to pick as a new writer just getting started, I’d join SESAC.

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