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Topic: BMI or ASCAP

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    BMI or ASCAP

    Re-newal coming up looking for opinions....

    My work is split between song writing, and film/tv work.

    Wondering what if anyone, has opinions for the two. Espcially in light og starting a publishing company.

    peace

    retroz

  2. #2

    Re: BMI or ASCAP

    I'm bmi. The only area where it seems ascap is better is in getting smallish performance groups, like choral organizations, to sign up. If your work gets registered, I think bmi pays a little better. But this is just opinion, since I don't get the ascap royalty statements to compare!

  3. #3

    Re: BMI or ASCAP

    BMI will NOT pay royalties if the alotted monies for that quarter run out. The "low man on the totem pole" will get left out. ASCAP pays everybody. Even though they have the same royalty rate, BMI pays the top people the most. ASCAP divides it up proportionally to everyone. That is why some people say BMI pays a little more. I hope this helps. Take a day and sign up for an ASCAP orientation (if you are near one) and they will discuss their open-book policy and paying process. Obviously, I prefer ASCAP. I am both a publisher and individual member.
    Jonathan Kerr
    J.Kerr Music, Inc

  4. #4

    Re: BMI or ASCAP

    I was a BMI writer and publisher for ten years, and switched to ASCAP, where I've now been for ten years. I switched because I was shifting more into writing for TV shows and music libraries, and the library folks told me that for promos, ads, misc. underscores etc., ASCAP was collecting about ten times as much for them as BMI. Neither one has been perfect, and some royalties have slipped through the cracks with both of them, but for me ASCAP seems to be the better choice right now. I'd do more research than just this forum if you can, it really depends on your individual situation-
    Side note- I wrote a song that hit #14 on Billboard's Dance Club chart a few years ago. Domestic ASCAP royalties: $0 Turns out dance clubs pay into ASCAP, but they're not surveyed to find out what's played. ASCAP assumes that they're playing the same songs that are on the radio. So, Madonna and others got my $$. I also had a huge national commercial for Staples, for which the ad agency neglected to turn paperwork into ASCAP, and again, $0. I couldn't legally force the ad agency to turn the paperwork in, (though I tried) so again someone else got my share. I had a few similar experiences with BMI, as I said, neither is perfect-

  5. #5
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    Re: BMI or ASCAP

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoff
    . I couldn't legally force the ad agency to turn the paperwork in, (though I tried) so again someone else got my share. I had a few similar experiences with BMI, as I said, neither is perfect-
    Hmmm, I recall one will accept cue sheets whereas the other just samples the 60,000 plus ours of air time...so I'm wondering which would be more profitable for tv shows (theme), and artist songs.(publishing)....as well as TV ad campaigns, in addition which is more prone to help (hand holding, hooking up with publishers) with someone (moi') established in the scoring/music supervision world to that of songwriting....

    Still feel free to leave feedback.

    Thanks

  6. #6

    Re: BMI or ASCAP

    How do you switch from one to the other anyway? Thanks.

    Looper

  7. #7

    Question Re: BMI or ASCAP

    BTW, do audio-visual production companies (e.g. ad agency) file a cue sheet of a production with all PROs (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC) or just the ones the composers/publishers mentioned on the cue sheet are affiliated with?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: BMI or ASCAP

    I have never used BMI, only ASCAP. They have done well for me. Your success with ASCAP can be enhanced considerably if you keep your catalog registrations current and complete. They seem to try very hard to collect on anything they know exists in the world, so the more complete you keep your catalog, the more they know exists.

    Sometimes, granted, that's not an automatic guarantee you're not going to see some airplay go unaccounted. There are lots of links in the chain. But in the bigger picture, the more you report in your catalog, the more awareness you generate. You can also continue to add or change information in your catalog as things change, or as you place music in new markets.

    If you work in theatre or concert, you need to do additional legwork there to make sure you get awards for those parts of your catalog.

    I would say that with any organization, one has to be an active participant in order to get maximum benefit.

    Also, and this harks back to discussions we've had about publishing...be sure to join as a publisher AND an author/composer if you hold any of your publishing rights (and you should hold them as much and as completely as you possibly can), because this is another income stream.

  9. #9

    Re: BMI or ASCAP

    I was wondering if production companies / ad agencies file a cue sheet of a production with all PROs (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC) or just the ones the composers/publishers mentioned on the cue sheet are affiliated with? Does anyone know this..?

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