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  • in reply to: BMI vs ASCAP on royalties #9334

    Hi Michael!

    Indeed I’m that guy, and great to cyber-bump into you in this forum, and it’d be great to speak further!

    Now, back to this subject:

    Sounds like our observations are lining up w/ ASCAP and BMI.

    I’d like to add two more things:

    1. This may be just my experience, but I’ve found BMI to be somewhat more accurate.  They still make mistakes, but so far, the number seems less.

    2. If you’re doing work for TV, you want to go through both society’s LA offices, as they have reps that greatly help with issues.  I was dealing with ASCAP’s NY people for many years, and the response was much spottier and slower.





    in reply to: BMI vs ASCAP on royalties #9331

    Having switched from ASCAP to BMI, I thought I’d chime in:

    Though the two PRO’s may balance out over all channels, the difference each pays on a given channel can be amazing.  For example, as of about 3 months ago, ASCAP’s per-minute rate for work on National Geographic was 10 times the amount that BMI paid.  I was astounded at this. and asked BMI “Is this really true?”  “Yes, but we’re working on it” was their reply.  So, the moral here:  If you have a lot of work on relatively few channels, and it looks like it’ll be this way for a number of years, it may well be worth all the BS involved with moving.


    Now, per MichaeL’s statement that all publishers have to agree before you can move, I’d like to elucidate further in 2 ways:


    1. If you perchance own your publishing, you can form a new publishing entity with the other PRO, and move your works over when your publishing resignation date arrives.  Case-in-point:  I had to wait about 9 months until I could move my works (in which my company is the publisher) to my new publishing entity at BMI.

    2. If the works are published by someone else (say, a library), it’s worth asking them if they’re interested in moving the works over.   For example, when I scored a show for a certain network, they retained the publishing, and had me use their ASCAP-affiliated publishing entity.  When I wanted to move over to BMI, I contacted them, and made the financial case for their going through the efforts to move my works over to their BMI affiliate.  I’m not sure how they could switch publishing at will, but if you’re a large enough gorilla, ASCAP and BMI will let you do certain things normal folks can’t.  Anyway, they decided not to go through the effort, and thus (and this is important), ASCAP will continue to pay me my writer’s share, even though I’m no longer an ASCAP writer.  Furthermore, as you’d expect, they’re paying at ASCAP (not BMI) rates.


    Per Mark Petrie’s observation:  Agreed:  ASCAP does more surveys.  The good thing is that I believe they’re covering smaller stations than BMI.  I could be wrong, but know of several cases in which I was glad I was with ASCAP, as I at least won the survey lottery occasionally, where with BMI, they weren’t looking at the stations at all.


    Hope this helps.



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