ascap_bmiSo, which one is better for you? First, allow me to explain what they do and why you need them. Performance Rights Organizations were created in efforts of collecting performance rights on your behalf. After all, you’re a superstar. Your focus should remain on creating more hits! You don’t have time to track down all the mainstream & college radio stations, nightclubs, bars, hotel lobbies, doctor offices, major or independent released films, and waiting rooms, that play…ahem “publicly perform”, your music. The PRO keeps track of who is playing what and how often. The different mediums must pay PROs a performance fee in order to play your music. The collected fee is sent to your publisher. (After your publisher takes out their cut) the remainder is sent to you. This payment are called your performance royalties. If you don’t have a publisher – the check is sent directly to you.

It suffices to say, if you write a big enough hit and have enough clout to negotiate a large split with your publishing company (or even better, if you own the publishing company), you stand to make a living off of royalty checks alone! **This is why I made the first post about copyrighting your music. After all…you can’t collect on music you don’t properly own. And until you do, PROs will not entertain the thought of you or your music.

So, which is better for you? Speak to 5 different people, you’ll get 5 different opinions. It all comes down to which one works best for you personally. As with anything, you’ll have to do your research. Read the brief contracts and speak with any available PRO representatives to find out which will work in your best interest. Each organization asks that you sign to a 2 year exclusive agreement, so you can only be associated with one PRO at a time. In other words, it’s best that you choose wisely. For a quick overview video from ASCAP’s Vice President, click here. For a point-by-point comparison, see the chart here.

I’ve attached links to each PRO for you to review — ASCAP, BMI.