Have you written music you want to record and release? Do you know how to protect and register your compositions? Would you like to license it out to movies or tv shows?
Securing success in the recording music industry means aligning yourself with the right group of people. You need to work with professionals in music AND the music business. Build a network of people that are interested in helping you do well and become a member of a professional trade organization. There are several that support recording music artists. I’d like to discuss ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.
ASCAP protects the rights of its members by licensing and distributing royalties from public performances of their music. There are over 470,000 composers, songwriters and music publishers of many genres of music. ASCAP explains, “they are the only US performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and publishers with a Board of Directors elected by and from their membership.” Having been established in 1914, the members range from the likes of Duke Ellington to Katy Perry, and from George Gershwin to Beyoncé.
Along with protecting their clients, ASCAP has a number of programs to support them outside of general compensation. They have a career development portion of their website with information on grants, awards programs, benefits and workshops for members. Sharing this knowledge is truly important in terms of guiding artists down the path of long-term success.
BMI is an organization that also represents songwriters in all genres and makes sure that they are compensated for performances of their works. They are now “the largest music rights organization in the US”, according to their website. They support businesses and organizations that play music publicly by providing music licenses that permit them to play more than 8.5 million musical pieces. Like ASCAP, they have programs to nurture the artist in the music business beyond monetary gain.
Working at a music publishing company, I visit the BMI website often. They have recently developed a new brand campaign. This video shows how BMI plans to update their brand but maintain their commitment to the industry. Having direct quotes from its members in this campaign works very well in terms of establishing their dominance in the business. They want to convey that they are dedicated to continuing working for songwriters and staying relevant as a leader in music rights protection.
SESAC is another organization that protects your music and publishing rights. It is the only US-based Music Rights Organization that manages public performance, mechanical, synchronization and other rights. What makes SESAC different is that they offer singular licenses for the works of its affiliated writers and publishers that group both performance and mechanical rights in order to drive greater efficiency in licensing for music users, as well as enhanced value for music creators and publishers.
Which organization is right for you and your music? Do you have any experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below!