ASCAP is the performing rights organization of choice for over 775,000 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 11 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 www.ascap.com/members.
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.
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.
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.
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 guidelines for registering commercial and promo works by clicking here.
5. Download Your ASCAP Mobile Pass
Want to make registering your music even easier? Download your ASCAP Mobile Pass. The Mobile Pass is a handy way to keep track of your unique Interested Party Information (IPI) number - a code that's essential for registering your music properly. Share your IPI with your co-writers/publishers, and make sure to get theirs too.
Your Mobile Pass will be available as soon as your IPI is assigned, typically 2-3 weeks after you join ASCAP. Download your Mobile Pass in Member Access.
6. Connect with Us and Stay Informed!
The relationship between you and ASCAP isn't a one way street! Give us a shout via social media.
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 tips to help your career. Sign up for both of them right here.
7. Watch the ASCAP Experience: Home Edition
Every year in the spring, thousands of songwriters, composers, producers and industry from around the world come to Los Angeles for the ASCAP Experience - a one-of-a-kind conference dedicated entirely to the art and business of music creation.
The Experience packs dozens of panels, feedback sessions, performances, wellness workshops and networking opportunities into three days of education and inspiration. Our panelists are the best of the best - Billie Eilish, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry, Questlove, Diplo, Quincy Jones, Justin Timberlake, Meghan Trainor, Bill Withers, Tom Petty and Sara Bareilles have all joined us, among many others.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, we reinvented the event as the ASCAP Experience: Home Edition, a series of weekly virtual sessions available to all for free. Home Edition includes provocative conversations with Hans Zimmer, T.I., Claudia Brant, Pasek & Paul, mxmtoon, Finneas O'Connell & Glen Hansard, Erica Campbell (Mary Mary), Michael R. Jackson and so many more - plus Sound Advice sessions to help you navigate your music career. Watch all of our past Home Edition panels at www.ascapexperience.com.
8. Take Advantage of Member Benefits
Want to work on your wellness? 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 some highlights on our Benefits page, and log in to Member Access to view the full roster of Benefits that we've got lined up for you.
9. 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 our Workshops page.
10. 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. Find out more at www.ascap.com/onstage.
11. Apply for an ASCAP Plus Award
Our annual ASCAP Plus Awards program rewards writers of symphonic & concert music, jazz, musical theatre and children's music who received less than $25,000 in domestic performance royalties in the previous calendar year. If you fit the criteria, you can apply for a Plus Award every year through your Member Access account.