Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Want to know where your performance royalty money is going? In someone else's wallet... if you are not affiliated with a Performer's Rights Organization (PRO) Lol... jk, sort of. PRO's are solely responsible for ensuring vendors have the appropriate license to play music and for collecting performance royalties from radio stations, streaming services, venues and TV networks on behalf of composers, authors and publishers. Each PRO is responsible for performing the same exact functions, though some differ in the perks that come along with your membership. Below I will compare and contrast the three major American PRO's:
American Society of Composers, Authors & Publisher (ASCAP):
Membership one-time fee is $50.00
Resources to assist in maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit that include the following and more:
Discounts for furthering your education (Institution unlisted)
Addiction recovery programs in collaboration with the Recording Academy MusicCares program
Click here For a full list of the ASCAP Wellness Program
They also provide discounts for merchandise, marketing and travel needs.
Opportunities to network with like-minded individuals via the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the annual ASCAP "I Create" Expo
Membership to the US Alliance Federal Credit Union
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
Membership is free for songwriters. Individual publishers must pay a one-time membership fee of $150 and companies must pay $250.
Discounts to further your education with Berklee Online
Membership discount for the Latin Grammy's
Opportunities to network with like-minded individuals via the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Billboard Conferences and Awards
The Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC)
There is no membership fee, but you must be invited to join
Discounts to further your education via Berklee Online
Discounts to Billboard Magazine
Travel related discounts with various companies
Before making a commitment to either of these, please visit their websites and do your own research. Once you've made up your mind, let us know with which PRO will you go? Hint: I am a proud member of ASCAP.