ASCAP Updates Annual Plus Awards Program
February 4, 2016
The ASCAP Board of Directors recently approved changes to the ASCAP Plus Awards - a program that rewards eligible composers earning under $25,000 in domestic royalties a year. ASCAP is the only performing rights organization in the world to offer such a program.
Starting with the 2016 application, the Plus Awards will now be offered exclusively to ASCAP writers of symphonic & concert music, jazz and musical theatre. These three communities make up nearly 80% of our Plus Awards applicants each year.
This change reflects the major improvements that ASCAP has made to our tracking surveys and payment system since the Plus Awards were introduced in the 1960s. We now use state-of-the-art tracking and matching technologies to process about 600 billion performances a year across every medium, and our surveys continue to improve and grow. The ASCAP tracking surveys of today have dramatically reduced the gap that the Plus Awards were intended to fill when we introduced them more than 50 years ago.
We understand that for some ASCAP members in other genres, the Plus Awards have been a valuable complement to our performance surveys. We encourage songwriters to submit setlists through ASCAP OnStage, our quarterly program which pays our members when their music is played live at venues we license. We also survey the 300 top-grossing tours each year in a special annual survey, which includes headliners and opening acts.
This change to the ASCAP Plus Awards is another step in our ongoing efforts to modernize our payment system to be as fair, accurate and efficient as possible.