ASCAP Payment System
ASCAP’s main role is to make sure our members are fairly compensated when their music is performed in public. We license over 11.5 million songs and scores to the businesses that play them, then send the money to our members as royalties. We use cutting edge technology to track, match, process and pay on a trillion performances each year, making us one of the most effective and innovative PROs in the world.
While our payment system is complex, it’s based on a few simple principles:
Fairness and accuracy
ASCAP is committed to paying our members as fairly and efficiently as possible. We’ve invested in technologies that increase the accuracy and quantity of the performances we process, all while saving on operating costs, so we can put more money in our members’ pockets.
Follow the dollar
Our members deserve to know where their royalties are coming from, and our licensees deserve to know where their money goes. That’s why we operate on a “Follow the Dollar” principle: the fees we get from TV networks goes to TV music creators, the fees we get from streaming services compensates performances on streaming services, and so on.
ASCAP operates on a not-for-profit basis
About 88 cents of every dollar we collect is distributed back to our members as royalties, giving us the lowest operating expense ratio in the US. We seek out new tools to maximize our efficiency so we can deliver more money to our members, where it belongs.
Click through for a step-by-step look at our payment system, from performance to royalty.
Domestic writers - April 2020
*Distribution dates are estimates only and subject to change without notice. Distributions may occur on or after the dates listed.