ASCAP is the performing rights organization of choice for over 500,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. Our core role is to license the public performance of our members' music, and get them paid when it's played publicly. But there's a lot more to being an ASCAP member than just letting the royalties roll in. Here are 10 steps you can take to make the most of your ASCAP membership.
1. Activate Your Member Access Account
Once you're an official ASCAP member, activate your Member Access account for both your writer and publisher accounts.
Member Access is your secure online portal for managing your business with ASCAP. You can view your royalty statements, change your address, see your entire ASCAP catalog and more. Activate your Member Access account at members.ascap.com, and take it with you wherever you go through ASCAP Mobile.
2. Sign Up for Direct Deposit
As a not-for-profit organization, ASCAP is committed to distributing every penny we take in, minus our small operating costs (the lowest in the business). To ensure you get your royalties as quickly as possible, we make a distribution every single month.
Want your ASCAP royalties even quicker? Sign up for Direct Deposit to get your royalties sent right to your bank account on the same day they're available. It's fast, it's eco-friendly, and it bypasses the royalty threshold in place for physical checks.
Sign up for Direct Deposit through your Member Access account at members.ascap.com.
3. Join ASCAP As a Writer and Publisher Member
Joining ASCAP is a great move. Everything that we do, from collecting and distributing performance royalties to protecting and strengthening copyright to developing and supporting your career, is done to serve you throughout your life in music. You're in good hands!
Already an ASCAP writer member? Consider joining as a publisher member, too. Unless you've assigned your publishing rights to someone else, you are your own publisher! Joining as an ASCAP publisher will ensure that you don't miss out on any of the ASCAP income you deserve.
Join today at www.ascap.com/join!
4. Register Your Titles
In order to get you paid, we need to know who exactly we're supposed to pay! Register your music early on so we can start tracking it and getting you paid.
If you write songs or concert pieces, submit information to us through our online Title Registration system. That's where you tell us the name of the musical work, the writers and the publishers, and the royalty percentages each of them get.
Log in to Member Access to begin registering your titles. You'll find a detailed walkthrough to help get you started.
For score written for TV or film, we rely on cue sheets. A cue sheet outlines all of the music from an audio/visual project, and how it's used. Cue sheets are normally sent to us by the producer or music supervisor of the program, not the writer of the music. Find out more at Cue Sheet Corner.
If your music is used in commercials or promos, you should register it via Title Registration, but we also require some additional info about the project before we can get you paid. You can find a checklist and guidelines for registering commercial and promo works by clicking here.
5. Take Advantage of Member Benefits
Need instrument or health insurance? Looking to cut your touring costs? ASCAP can help. Our comprehensive package of exclusive discounts and special offers is designed to make your life as a working music professional a little easier. See what we've got lined up for you at www.ascap.com/benefits.
6. Grow Your Career at an ASCAP Workshop
Hone your skills and learn more about the music biz at one of the annual workshops ASCAP runs across the country. Whether you're a songwriter or a producer, a film and TV composer or a musical theatre writer, we've got a program just for you. Find out more at www.ascap.com/music-career.
7. Get Paid for Live Performances via ASCAP OnStage
We developed ASCAP OnStage to reward ASCAP writers who spend much of their lives on the road. With this program you have the opportunity to receive royalties when your music is performed live at ASCAP-licensed venues of all sizes. Register all of your songs, send us the dates and setlists for every ASCAP-licensed venue you played in the past three months, and voila! You're done. With ASCAP Mobile, you can submit your OnStage performance claims on the go.
Find out more at www.ascap.com/onstage.
8. Apply for an ASCAP Plus Award
Since the 1960s, we've offered the annual ASCAP Plus Awards program to provide cash and recognition to writers who create music with a value beyond the scope of performance surveys. If you are an ASCAP writer and make under $25,000 in annual domestic performance royalties from us, you can apply for an ASCAP Plus Award every year.
Get the ball rolling at www.ascap.com/ascapplus.
9. Attend the ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO
Every year in April, thousands of songwriters, composers, producers and industry from around the world come to Los Angeles for the ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO - a one-of-a-kind conference dedicated entirely to the art and business of music creation.
The EXPO packs dozens of panels, workshops, performances and networking opportunities into three days of education and inspiration. Our panelists are the best of the best - Katy Perry, Quincy Jones, Justin Timberlake, Lindsey Buckingham, Dr. Luke, John Mayer, Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart) and Randy Newman have all joined us at the EXPO, among many others.
The ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO is your chance to learn, connect and succeed. Find out more at www.ascap.com/expo.
10. Connect with Us and Stay Informed!
The relationship between you and ASCAP isn't a one way street! Interact with us and stay in the loop via all of our social media platforms.
Use ASCAP Mobile to keep your account at your fingertips. Submit OnStage performance claims, review your royalty information and read important industry news wherever you go, from the device of your choice.
Every day, ASCAP Board member Dean Kay curates The ASCAP Daily Brief - an invaluable collection of stories from around the web to educate and stimulate you. We've also got our Inside Music e-newsletter, jam-packed with ASCAP news and information to help your career. Sign up for both of them right here.