A Message from Paul Williams on Federal Emergency Relief Package

March 27, 2020

Dear ASCAP family, 

As the coronavirus crisis continues, ASCAP has been on the frontlines of the fight to make sure music creators get support from the federal government during this difficult time. We recently joined other songwriter organizations and a broader entertainment industry coalition in sending letters to Congress, urging our legislators to keep your needs front of mind.

Today, the president signed a historic $2.2 trillion emergency relief package containing much of the financial assistance and relief that we requested for our members, including some notable provisions to help music creators who are self-employed, independent contractors and those who own or work for small businesses.

You can find more information about these provisions, as well as how you can apply for assistance from various federal, state and local government programs, at ASCAP’s new Music Unites Us page, a COVID-19 resource center just for music creators. In addition to a detailed FAQ about the government’s emergency aid package, you’ll find a wealth of info on how to stay healthy, creative and financially stable as we weather this public health crisis. Bookmark the link and return often, as we are updating it regularly: www.ascap.com/musicunitesus.

The entire music industry is preparing for an uncertain future, and we are all tightening our belts by freezing certain operational expenses. But the fact is much of ASCAP’s ability to compensate you depends on the ability of our licensees to pay us on time and in full – and right now many of their businesses are effectively shut down or scaled back dramatically. As a result, ASCAP revenues will undoubtedly decrease during this time. And that unfortunately means we must all plan for a decrease in future royalty distributions too. It’s too early to say just how much of an impact the crisis will have on future royalty payments, but we will keep you updated as the situation becomes more clear.  

Through all of this, supporting you remains ASCAP’s top priority. That means supporting the whole you. I would encourage you to take advantage of the many benefits of our ASCAP Member Wellness Program, intended to help nourish your body, mind and spirit so you can be your creative best. Many of our wellness partners are offering special resources during the pandemic. Find out more at www.ascap.com/wellness.

For decades, ASCAP has been home to my music, and my fellow music creators have come to feel like brothers and sisters. I want to remind you that even in these challenging times, we are a unique creative community and we are all in this together. You are not alone!

I hope that you are staying healthy, keeping your spirits up and writing some terrific music during this time. The world needs your music now, perhaps more than ever. 

Sincerely,
Paul Williams
Paul Williams
ASCAP President & Chairman of the Board