Today’s topic is something I’ve been meaning to write about since the beginning of the year (better late than never, right?). If you’re recording and performing, you most likely are associated with one of the 3 big publishers – ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. (If you’re not, you should be. Sign up now!)
With that membership, you have access to earning royalties for plays on radio, TV, and what we’re mostly going to talk about today, LIVE. The catch is – you are responsible for reporting it. If you’re not reporting it, you’re losing royalty payments for performances of your music! And no one likes the sound of that.
I get it – if you perform a lot, it’s overwhelming, it takes time to get all the info, then you have to meet deadlines – but look, this only helps you in the long run so you wan to make it part of your routine. Whether you are doing it on your own or if you’ve hired someone to do it for you, here are some things that will speed up and make the entire process less painful for you.
Here’s what each PRO needs to know when reporting the shows:
Headline/Support *SESAC and ASCAP only
Submitted By (Name, Phone, Email) *SESAC only
Date of Show
Tickets sold in advance?
Time of Show
Length of Show
**If you perform the same setlist often, build the setlist beforehand and then you are able to select that setlist when you are reporting each show. Also, most of them let you duplicate an existing reported show which is helpful when you are reporting a month long tour (trust me!).
To make it less overwhelming when it’s time to report, build a spreadsheet and then fill it out every week, 2 weeks, month – this depends on your tour schedule. This way, it takes minutes at a time, and not hours on end.
Note: there are deadlines! Below are direct links to each PRO’s deadlines:
My advice? Get caught up now and then just make it a habit to report each month. This way, you will never miss a deadline.
Last piece of insight I have. As you may know, live venues are required to pay a fee to the PROs if music is publicly performed there. There’s some exceptions, but very limited. Keep in mind, smaller venues may be operating unaware of this requirement so if you’re unable to find that venue in the PRO Venue Database, check with them ahead of time. You wouldn’t want to accidentally draw a big target to the venue. Ideally, try to focus on booking shows where they have their licenses in place so that everyone benefits. 🙂
I hope if you are performing you found this helpful, and that you’ll start reporting your performances!