How You Get Paid at ASCAP
ASCAP receives payment for public performances of songs and compositions by negotiating license fees with the users of music (radio, network and cable TV, web sites, bars, clubs, shopping malls, concert halls, airlines, etc.). We distribute the revenue we receive to ASCAP members whose music was picked up in our performance surveys.
The value of each performance is determined by several factors, including the amount of license fees collected in a medium (television, cable, radio, etc.), how much we receive in fees from the licensee that hosted the performance, and the type of performance (feature performance, background music, theme song, etc.).
What Makes ASCAP's Payment System Unique
There are billions of performances licensed by ASCAP each year. ASCAP is committed to paying our members for these performances fairly, accurately and efficiently. ASCAP collects and distributes more money in performance royalty income than any other organization, and our payment system is by far the fairest and most objective in the U.S.
ASCAP pays directly and fairly. We are guided by a "follow the dollar" principle in the design of our payment system. In other words, the money collected from television stations is paid out to members for performances of their works on television, the money collected from radio stations is paid out for radio performances, and so on.
ASCAP is owned and governed by its members. We are the only American performing rights organization with a Board of Directors elected from and by our membership. Every decision the ASCAP Board makes is in the best interests of ASCAP members, because every member of the Board is an ASCAP member. That means we are committed to maximizing payments for the public performance of your music. In most situations, ASCAP pays more than our competitors over the life of a copyright.
At ASCAP, We Always Pay Our Writer Members Directly
As a condition of membership, all ASCAP members agree that the writer - and not the writer's employer - will be paid the writer's share of ASCAP performing rights royalties, even in work-for-hire situations. ASCAP's Articles of Association provide that writer royalties "shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of." Therefore, with very few exceptions, ASCAP will not honor an irrevocable assignment of writer's royalties. We strongly believe that music creators should benefit from their work. Period.
The information on the pages to follow will help you understand the design of ASCAP's payment system. Click through to find out about the entire process, from performance to payment.
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