ASCAP and YMCA-USA Music Licensing Partnership

ASCAP and YMCA of the USA are partnering to provide YMCA branches across the country easy access to an ASCAP music license.

ASCAP and the YMCA of the USA have entered into an agreement to provide ASCAP music licenses for all 2,700 YMCA member branches. All branches will receive login credentials via YMCA of the USA, which will enable them to purchase an ASCAP license. Here are the facts you need to know about the ASCAP music license for YMCA branches:

ASCAP is a membership organization of more than 825,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. Our members include both the hottest artists of today and the writers of your all-time favorite songs.

Our license agreement makes complying with the law easy. U.S. copyright law requires you to obtain permission from music copyright owners to play their songs in your facility. Instead of reaching out to hundreds of thousands of music creators yourself, a single ASCAP license agreement gives you permission to play music from any ASCAP member in your facility.

With an ASCAP music license, you have unlimited access to ASCAP's expansive catalogue of millions of songs which you can play as often as you want in a wide variety of ways. Whether it's off an electronic device or music provided by a DJ at club functions - the music is licensed and you've complied with the law.

It's the right thing to do. Your license fee helps support America's smallest business owners - songwriters. 88¢ of every $1 from your license fee goes back directly to ASCAP members as royalties, allowing them to make a living from their craft and continue creating music to delight your members.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Frequently Asked Questions
Why do YMCAs have to pay to play music in public?
We often use the expression, "They're playing our song," not always remembering that while we may have emotionally adopted the song, it still legally belongs to the songwriter(s) who created it and the music publisher(s) who administer it. When you use other people's property, you need to ask permission. An ASCAP license gives your YMCA branch simple, affordable access to the millions of works in the ASCAP repertory.
Why do I need an ASCAP music license if I already have one from BMI and/or SESAC?
More often than not, your favorite songs were written by multiple people, some of whom may be affiliates of BMI and/or SESAC. Though the ASCAP license gives you permission to publicly play any of the millions of songs in ASCAP's repertory, it does not give you permission to publicly perform music represented by BMI or SESAC.
If I sign up for the ASCAP/YMCA-USA license during the Fall enrollment period, when will my license take effect?
Your license will take effect January 1, 2020. The license paid during the Fall enrollment period is an annual fee and will cover your branch for all of 2020.
Why do I need an ASCAP music license if I only use music provided by a background music service?
Most background music service providers' terms and conditions are limited and do not cover all music uses. For example, if your branch uses a background music service as part of group fitness classes (e.g., aerobics or cycling), you may need additional licensing to cover those performances. An ASCAP license will provide you with that coverage.
Does my ASCAP music license cover music on a video that I am going to create?
No. The ASCAP music license does not include permission for reproducing a specific song into a video. The type of license you would need for this usage is called a synchronization license, which can be obtained directly from the music publisher. You may use ASCAP's ACE Repertory database to search for the specific song you want to use and learn who the music publisher of that song is. For more information on synchronization licenses and using music in videos or other forms of audiovisual content, please visit our helpful article here.

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