ASCAP vs. BMI
If you’re not a songwriter or in the music business, you might want to skip this blog post. Or, if you’re interested about the ins and outs of what I do, then read on! 🙂
I have been attending San Diego chapter NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) meetings recently, and they have had speakers from ASCAP and BMI (both reputable PROs).
PROs (performing rights organizations) help songwriters collect royalties when their songs get played. Both speakers talked about the general ideas of how PROs work and the subtle differences (pay and procedures) between the main players. After these meetings, I continued to do my own research, talked with some friends in the biz, and really lost myself in the details. It seems that every article you read or speaker you hear will end by saying that all major PROs are good, but also that you should really do your homework to pick the one that’s right for you.
While this is true, I’m here to tell you something a little different.
If you haven’t had any placements, a real career, hits, anything on the world’s radar (which is probably true if you haven’t already established yourself with a PRO) — just pick one, sign up, and register your work. Don’t mull over your decision for weeks like I did. I won’t list all the differences for you right here because they are very easy for you to look up, but I’ll leave some links below to make it easy.
Pick one, flip a coin if you need to. Just realize that MAKING a decision is more important than agonizing over which one may pay out more 20 years down the road based on a bunch of variables you have no way of predicting.
Now go write an amazing song.