As an independent artist you have to think about every little detail in your music career. Things like marketing, finding gigs, connecting with the right people and even finding the right musicians can take its toll. With all of this decision making, when it comes to choosing a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) you may find yourself scratching your head. In the United States there are 3 PRO’s, they are Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and SESAC.
What is a PRO?
A Performance Rights Organization (PRO) will collect performance royalties on behalf of a songwriter. Performance royalties are generated when a song is used in television, played on the radio, and live performances. As we can see performance royalties are important and not something that should be missed out on.
BMI is free to join for the songwriter. The process is very easy as all you need to do is apply at the website. If you are planning to apply as a music publishing company, the current fee for a sole proprietor is $150.00. If filing as a corporation, partnership or limited liability Company the current fee is $250.00. BMI offers numerous member benefits, ranging from discounts to Berklee College of music, Sweetwater a music retailer and subscriptions to industry magazines. BMI also offers free workshops and events for its affiliates. These events are typically held at one of BMI’s offices. BMI has offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Puerto Rico and London. Notable affiliates with BMI are Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Eminem, Rhianna, Maroon 5, Sam Cooke, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton.
Next time we will cover ASCAP.