If you have music that will be performed anywhere (shows, cd’s, radio, tv, movies, etc) you will need to sign up to a PRO (Performance Rights Organization) so that you can be paid royalties for your works. You can only be signed up with one PRO. If you are an unsigned artist you will want to sign up for a songwriter or producer (both fall under songwriter category) account and a publisher account.
The main PRO’s in the USA are…
Join by clicking here http://www.bmi.com/join
Signing up as a songwriter, Costs $0
Signing up as a publisher, Costs $250
Join by clicking here http://www.ascap.com/join
Signing up as a songwriter, Costs $35
Signing up as a publisher, Costs $35
They are VERY selective about whom they choose to let join them. I don’t have cost information for them but for more information you can click here http://www.sesac.com/WritersPublishers/affiliate.aspx
If you are an unsigned artist you will want to sign up for a songwriter or producer (both fall under songwriter category) account and a publisher account.
To sign up for a publisher account with either PRO you will need to have a few names picked out for your publishing company. You can pick variations of the name that you choose.
TIP: You can’t choose a name that someone has used before so be very creative but remember the checks that the royalty company pays you will be made out to the publishing company name. If you are an artist or producer who doesn’t have that much income coming in from royalties and haven’t yet created your company you might want to put the publishing company in your name. For example I am Angela Star so if I wanted to create a publishing company and didn’t have my company registered I might choose the name Angela Star Publishing. They give you 3 choices of names. For my second choice I might choose Angela Star AS Publishing. For my third choice I might choose AS Angela Star Publishing. Either way, when I go to deposit those checks into the bank, I shouldn’t have a problem depositing them into my personal account versus opening up a separate business account.
If you are not from the USA and need to find out which PRO organizations are in your country, please send us a comment with your country and email. (We will not approve the comment and no one but us will see your info) and we will send you an email back letting you know the appropriate PRO.
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