4 Facts About Performing Rights Organizations Every Musician Should Know

4 Facts About Performing Rights Organizations Every Musician Should Know

If you’re an artist and you write your music, you likely know that it’s important to make sure you get paid for any use of your composition copyrights. One way to do this is to register your songs with a performing rights organization (or PRO). PROs help songwriters and publishers collect public performance royalties whenever their songs are played on radio stations, streaming services or local businesses that broadcast their music.

They Are a Collective Management Organization

In today’s world of online music consumption, performance rights organizations (PROs) play an important role. They collect public performance royalties for songwriters, composers and publishers.

Performing Rights Organizations are a type of Collective Management Organization (CMO). They manage the rights associated with copyrighted works, which include license granting, collecting license fees and distributing royalties to the copyright holders. PROs are a part of the broader field of CMOs that monitor, license and collect performance and mechanical (digital) rights. They do this for clients in a wide range of countries around the globe. They are also responsible for enforcing the conditions of their clients’ licensing agreements and collecting and distributing any subsequent royalties owed. Collective Management is often seen as a solution to the difficulties involved in copyright licensing, especially given that it can be costly for users to obtain permission to use copyrighted works individually. By exploiting economies of scale, CMOs can pool their transaction costs and make licensing cheaper for users while ensuring the fair distribution of royalties.

They Are a Synchronization Agency

The Performing Rights Organization (PRO) is a music licensing agency that issues licenses for synchronizing recorded sound with visual media. These include radio, television, movies, advertisements, video games, online streaming such as Spotify for business , and more. They also collect performance royalties on behalf of music publishers and songwriters, which are split 50/50. These royalties help generate income for copyrighted songs paired with visual media.

In addition, they are often involved in creating music libraries, which are large collections of recordings that visual media producers can search for to incorporate into their projects. When a production company, film studio, TV network or other content creator uses music in a video or movie, they need a sync license (also called a master use license) to put the song alongside their visuals. They have to pay a sync license fee and compensate the copyright holders who own the composition and master recording rights through their public performance royalties. These are great resources for independent artists who don’t have the time to navigate the sync licensing process themselves. However, some artists might skip the agency entirely and reach out directly to music supervisors.

They Are a Licensing Agency

Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) negotiate nondramatic blanket license agreements on behalf of songwriters and music publishers for all public performances of their musical works, including radio, television and live concerts. They collect money from these licenses and distribute them as performance royalties to their affiliated songwriters and music publishers. Using this system, PROs make it easier for businesses to fulfill their obligation under US Copyright Law to obtain permission from every songwriter before publicly using any song they want to play. That’s important because if you don’t get the appropriate permission, you can be held liable for copyright infringement which carries hefty penalties.

In the United States, there are four PROs: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and GMR. The two largest, ASCAP and BMI, operate under antitrust consent decrees that prevent them from charging monopolistic rates. The smaller private businesses, SESAC and GMR, have smaller rosters of writers but charge lower license fees. They also have reciprocal agreements with PROs abroad to collect and pay performance royalties for works written by foreign authors. Getting the proper licensing and tracking of your song catalog is essential to protecting your rights and earning your share of royalties. Whether you are an independent artist or a large music publisher, understanding the ins and outs of PROs is essential.

They Are a Collection Agency

Performing Rights Organizations, or PROs, are collection agencies that collect performance royalties for composers and songwriters. They collect license fees for life and record music performances on radio stations, cable television, and other venues. They are a vital part of the music publishing pipeline. Yet, many musicians don’t understand the role of these organizations or what they do.

A PRO can help you get more money from your songs by registering your songs correctly and collecting royalties from your work. It can also help you avoid any legal issues that may arise. In the United States, there are four PROs: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and Global Music Rights (GMR). Each of these PROs has its philosophies, payment formulas, owners, contracts, etc. The PROs also offer educational resources and tools on their websites to help songwriters understand copyright issues, how royalty payments work, and tips for songwriters.