To all ASCAP or BMI members

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To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by pharaoh1tay » Wed Sep 30, 2009 5:31 pm

First of all I'd like to say hi to everybody. This is my first post. I've been on this website for quite a bit over the past couple of years just to read up on the music industry. I'm actually a member with Taxi.com and I do regret not contributing earlier. Anyway, hello! So I'm hoping some of you can help me with a small situation I'm going through.I finally got a publishing deal but now I need to sign up with ASCAP or BMI. I've tried getting a hold of them for some questions but the line was busy the whole time I called.my questions are:1) Is it OK to give my ASCAP or BMI member # to the publisher? I would think so since they need to let the PRO know. But i'm very skeptical about giving out my info without knowing the risks. Especially in this type of business.2) How do I actually register my music with ASCAP or BMI? Do I send them music tracks or just give them the name of the songs?3) Can I follow up with ASCAP or BMI about my music once my publisher lets me know it's been added to one of the TV shows (sorry if this question sounds incorrect) or is that the publishers job to tell me?I really appreciate the advice in advance guys. Also feel free to educate me more on this.Thanks again and God bless

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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by hummingbird » Wed Sep 30, 2009 7:22 pm

Hi & welcome aboard!!1) Is it OK to give my ASCAP or BMI member # to the publisher? I would think so since they need to let the PRO know. But i'm very skeptical about giving out my info without knowing the risks. Especially in this type of business.Yes, you must give your IPI# to the music publisher or music library, either in the agreement itself or on the attached catalogue list. Otherwise, how will you get paid?2) How do I actually register my music with ASCAP or BMI? Do I send them music tracks or just give them the name of the songs? You register music by title & other info. BUT before you register anything... be advised that the publisher will register the work, with the correct shares. You need to provide your PRO name and IPI so the work can be registered effectively.3) Can I follow up with ASCAP or BMI about my music once my publisher lets me know it's been added to one of the TV shows (sorry if this question sounds incorrect) or is that the publishers job to tell me? If there are synch fees, then they will be paid to you by the publisher at whatever intervals designated in your contract. When you get your ASCAP/BMI statement, the shows your music was on will be listed. The PROs generally pay 6 to 9 months after a show has aired.Others may have more info, hope that helps somewhat!cheersHummin'bird
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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by kevinmathie » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:14 am

Sept 30, 2009, 8:31pm, pharaoh1tay wrote:3) Can I follow up with ASCAP or BMI about my music once my publisher lets me know it's been added to one of the TV shows (sorry if this question sounds incorrect) or is that the publishers job to tell me?I won't go through the other questions, since Vicky answered them better than I can, but I did want to comment on this one. If you know the film or tv project you'll be on, you can give ASCAP a heads-up with their Cue Sheet Alert form. I'm not sure if this is available for BMI. And, I'm not sure if it actually helps you get surveyed, or if it's just something to make ASCAP members feel better.

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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by pharaoh1tay » Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:29 pm

Thank you both the help. I truly appreciate it. cheers!

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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by pharaoh1tay » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:53 pm

Hello againI have another question. I just discovered that I am still a member with BMI. I really, really want to cancel my membership with them and go to ASCAP. I called BMI and they sent me a "terms agreement" stating all the rules and what I need to do to cancel. Most of it really involves any pending royalties, which I don't have. Really, the document sent is confusing and BMI customer service was not helpful. So can anyone here, who is more familiar with this advise how I can cancel my membership with BMI? I've been a member since April 1, 2006 until December 31, 2008. I haven't been an active member. I just have my info registered with BMI. Thanks again guys

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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by slideboardouts » Fri Oct 02, 2009 2:46 pm

Oct 2, 2009, 4:53pm, pharaoh1tay wrote:Hello againI have another question. I just discovered that I am still a member with BMI. I really, really want to cancel my membership with them and go to ASCAP. I called BMI and they sent me a "terms agreement" stating all the rules and what I need to do to cancel. Most of it really involves any pending royalties, which I don't have. Really, the document sent is confusing and BMI customer service was not helpful. So can anyone here, who is more familiar with this advise how I can cancel my membership with BMI? I've been a member since April 1, 2006 until December 31, 2008. I haven't been an active member. I just have my info registered with BMI. Thanks again guysWhy, pray-tell, do you "really, really" want to cancel your membership with BMI?-Steve

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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by guscave » Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:43 am

Oct 2, 2009, 5:46pm, slideboardouts wrote:Oct 2, 2009, 4:53pm, pharaoh1tay wrote:Hello againI have another question. I just discovered that I am still a member with BMI. I really, really want to cancel my membership with them and go to ASCAP. I called BMI and they sent me a "terms agreement" stating all the rules and what I need to do to cancel. Most of it really involves any pending royalties, which I don't have. Really, the document sent is confusing and BMI customer service was not helpful. So can anyone here, who is more familiar with this advise how I can cancel my membership with BMI? I've been a member since April 1, 2006 until December 31, 2008. I haven't been an active member. I just have my info registered with BMI. Thanks again guysWhy, pray-tell, do you "really, really" want to cancel your membership with BMI?-SteveTrue, Why would you want to go through so much hassle when there really isn't that much difference between PRO's?

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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by pharaoh1tay » Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:34 pm

I've had a bad experience with them in the past and was also advised by a few current BMI members that they regret not signing with ASCAP. They also shared their reasons but I've also done my research on this for a while. Overall it's because the BMI service is not good. And they rely on what the broadcast gives them, unlike ASCAP which will take the extra mile for their writers. There are also other reasons so really the hassle is worth it. Now the problem is getting in touch with BMI... they don't respond nor answer my questions. What a surprise.PS: I apologize if this comment sounded bad. I am not trying to talk down about BMI but I am responding to your question on why I want to go through the hassle. Unless someone can advise me why I should stick with BMI, I'd love to hear it. But again, if anyone can help advise me on how I can cancel my membership with them, I'd appreciate it. I understand there's a 2 year membership with BMI and it automatically renews if I don't request to cancel it. My membership is coming to an end but there's no way I can figure out how to cancel.

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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by slideboardouts » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:49 pm

Oct 6, 2009, 5:34pm, pharaoh1tay wrote:I've had a bad experience with them in the past and was also advised by a few current BMI members that they regret not signing with ASCAP. They also shared their reasons but I've also done my research on this for a while. Overall it's because the BMI service is not good. And they rely on what the broadcast gives them, unlike ASCAP which will take the extra mile for their writers. There are also other reasons so really the hassle is worth it. Now the problem is getting in touch with BMI... they don't respond nor answer my questions. What a surprise.PS: I apologize if this comment sounded bad. I am not trying to talk down about BMI but I am responding to your question on why I want to go through the hassle. Unless someone can advise me why I should stick with BMI, I'd love to hear it. But again, if anyone can help advise me on how I can cancel my membership with them, I'd appreciate it. I understand there's a 2 year membership with BMI and it automatically renews if I don't request to cancel it. My membership is coming to an end but there's no way I can figure out how to cancel.Well, of course you have to do what you feel you need to do, but know that ASCAP isn't exactly a night in shinning armor either. What you said about BMI, I have heard the exact thing from people about ASCAP. In fact, I know one person who is absolutely livid with ASCAP to the point of wanting to switch to BMI or SESAC. He believes (and I think he has evidence to support this) that they are not properly accounting for all of the royalties due. I've also heard people say that ASCAP's service is atrocious, and I've heard stories of BMI going the extra mile to get even small royalty amounts to writers.I'm not going to try and persuade you to stay with BMI as I really don't care, but you need to know that there are going to be good things and bad things about each PRO and you will run into people who have nightmare stories about each one. In the end, I would say it is probably a wash. I know plenty of people who are happy with BMI and plenty of people who are happy with ASCAP. I personally wouldn't switch PROs unless I knew that they were really messing up on my royalties, and at this point it sounds like you don't have any legitimate evidence that this is happening. So you are mostly basing your decision on what you have heard, read, and what you say is bad service from BMI.One big advantage I can give you that BMI does have over ASCAP is their royalty statements themselves. At least for film/tv composers it is an advantage. On a BMI statement, you are given the affiliate count. On an ASCAP, you are not given an affiliate count.-Steve

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Re: To all ASCAP or BMI members

Post by pharaoh1tay » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:28 pm

Steve, my friend, you really nailed it and thank you. I guess overall I, along with others, need to understand that the entertainment business can be a crooked business. I will need to do some serious thinking about this.

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