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Cue Sheet Corner

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How to get paid in Film & TV

If your music is used in film or television, making sure a cue sheet is filed with ASCAP is an important step in getting paid for your work. Here's everything you need to know about cue sheets.

What is a cue sheet?

In order for ASCAP to distribute royalties to you for performances of your music in television and film, we must receive a cue sheet.

A cue sheet is a schedule of the music contained in a film or television program and is the essential document for ASCAP to distribute royalties for musical performances in audio-visual media. It is typically prepared by the production company and delivered to ASCAP and lists the following pieces of information:

  • the title of the music performed;
  • the way in which the music was performed (e.g., visual instrumental, vocal, background instrumental or vocal);
  • the duration of the performance; and
  • the entitled party information (i.e. the composers and publishers) and their respective ownership shares.

Deadlines For Submission of Cue Sheets Date
• For December 2015 / January 2016 distribution October 2, 2015
• For March 2016 / April 2016 distribution January 1, 2016
• For June 2016 / July 2016 distribution April 1, 2016
• For September 2016 / October 2016 distribution July 1, 2016

ASCAP distributes royalties for performances approximately six (6) months after the broadcast performance (click here to review the ASCAP Distribution Schedule). The schedule above (Deadlines For Submission Of Cue Sheets) indicates when a cue sheet must be received by ASCAP in order for ASCAP to process it for the appropriate quarterly distribution.

If you have not received royalties for a television or film performance of your work, you should notify ASCAP by submitting a Member Service Inquiry via Member Access (use the Category, "My Performances" and the Topic, "Domestic Television Claim"). Please provide as much information as possible (e.g. program, work title, station(s), performance dates, etc.) to ensure ASCAP staff can research your claim thoroughly and respond to your Inquiry. For additional information about television and film performance royalties, please read the articles below.

Articles Date
TV Weighting Formula Changes - FAQ Summer 2012
Introducing Cue Sheets in Member Access Summer 2010
RapidCue - The Industry Standard for Cue Sheet Data Processing Summer 2007
The Importance of Title Registrations Winter 2007
Everything You Need To Know About Cue Sheets Winter 2005