ASCAP Payment System: Identifying Performances
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ASCAP Payment System

Identifying Performances

ASCAP relies on a combination of sources for data to identify performances on each medium. ASCAP is committed to a high standard of accuracy in identifying performances and has developed many technological innovations that have set international standards.



In order to identify what musical works are performed on both broadcast and cable television, ASCAP uses cue sheets provided to us by the program producers or broadcasters combined with computer based program schedules, network or station logs, and tapes of actual broadcasts which are then analyzed by ASCAP's music experts. Cue sheets list detailed information on all of the composers, writers and publishers who have music in a show, and the type of music usage. Types of music usage include feature performances, background , themes, etc. We must have a cue sheet on file in order to make payment. Among ASCAP's many technological innovations was the development of cue sheet software called ASCAP EZQ, which greatly facilitated the process of preparing cue sheets and identifying performances of our members' works. ASCAP EZQ evolved into the industry standard RapidCue, used by most of the major studios and program producers today.



Our radio survey uses information provided to us by the advanced digital tracking technology of Media Monitors and Mediabase, station logs (lists of works performed) provided to us by the radio stations, and by recorded tapes of actual broadcasts.

ASCAP's radio survey covers all types of music on all types and sizes of stations in every region of the country. ASCAP conducts separate surveys of country, Latin, jazz, urban contemporary, religious, classical, ethnic, and pop music stations. The total monies collected from those genre-specific stations are paid to the writers and publishers of works with performances on those stations.

Live Concerts


To compensate ASCAP writers and publishers for live performances of their music, we use set lists provided by our writer members via OnStage. We also survey all songs performed in the 300 top-grossing concert tours and selected major venues. For symphony, recital and educational concerts, we rely on printed programs submitted via Performance Notification.



For performances on the Internet, background music services and other media, ASCAP relies on electronic logs, playlists, program guides and cue sheets for the necessary performance information.

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