ASCAP/BMI thoughts?

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Member Since: Jul 23, 2004

I am curious about the good vs. evil debate regarding ASCAP and BMI. As a recording writer/arranger/performer am I better off joining one of these? I find alot of very angry websites that tell of being ripped off.
All of my songs ARE officially copyrighted to me.. and at this point I would love any radio play but does any one here have experience with these societies?

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Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 06, 2007 12:47 am

IF you are willing to give up a good deal of money for their management then it is not a bad deal. The truth is they indeed can rip people off. There are many other organizations similar to these two. Some good, some better and some are worse. Some see them as a needed evil. I personally don't. An indy artist can market themselves if they are marketable. You just need to make a good web presence and do some legwork to get your music out there and heard. There are tons of web radio shows that will play your music for free and allow you a link or let you plug were you are selling your music. Take the Home Made hit Show for instance. www.homemadehitshow.com/ He is getting more and more listener's every day.

And building your own website is not a very expensive way to get your music out there either.

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Member
Since: May 10, 2002


Jan 06, 2007 03:31 am

Good post Jetglo.

As Noise mentions, they exist at a cost to the artist.

The industry is in great flux at this point in time. "Old School" promotion via radio and TV have basicly accepted ASCAP and BMI as a way to legaly play and pay for the music they broadcast for profit. Here we have quite a casm in why the artist wants music broadcast. For the struggling artist a free play on radio would be great to get the music heard. To the established artist each play means income. Suffice to say the two organizations can be limiting to the struggling artist, while performing a service to the established artist in one sense. In another sense many radio stations will not play music that they can not simply pay rolayties to via ascap or bmi.

Now the web. That is a whole different ball game.

Quite frankly, I doubt that music has any real value at this time in history. The only people that are constantly flashed in my face via web, tv, etc. are Britney Spanial, Lindsey Lowlife, and Paris Hillhoe. I don't know anybody that listens to anything they do; however people flock in groves to stay in touch with what they do and whether or no they wear underware.

People seem to be seaking some vicarious form of entertaiment watching these people rather than by listening to 'musical' sound.

I doubt either ascap or bmi had any great influence on their success.

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 06, 2007 04:11 am

Walt is a man to listen to. He makes a lotta sense.

Especially when you read his text while hearing the voice of Sheldon Leonard or Marlon Brando.

Seriously.




Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 06, 2007 10:01 am

www.homerecordingconnecti...11853&frm=1

Quote:
Walt is a man to listen to.


eh, Walt is a chucklehead. :-)

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Member
Since: May 10, 2002


Jan 06, 2007 03:00 pm

Most interesting.....

I'm trying to blend Marlon Brando and chucklehead..... Oh my.

SM7b the Chuck Noris of Mic's
Contributor
Since: Jun 20, 2002


Jan 06, 2007 03:44 pm

Brando from Superman or God father ? hmm that's the question.

Czar of Midi
Administrator
Since: Apr 04, 2002


Jan 06, 2007 04:04 pm

jetglo, I will add to what I stated earlier and others have said.

There are if you look closely still some independent radio station's out there. Very few but they do exist. One up here that is on their third year playing what THEY want and what the public wants. They will gladly play local and semi local artist's music without fee and if they like you or the music they will boost the play times. The station up here is called The Current and you can listen for several weeks and not hear the same song twice. They do not cater to the top 40 list, or even the top 100 at all. Those stations are publicly funded or just plain rebels station's. Either way they are the ones that are playing indy music and even music from mainstream artist's that the commercial radio station's don't play because they are not on a single or radio edit version of a song.

So maybe have a look around and check out the local radio station's, even the low watt college radio stations will be more then happy to play local bands music. They will even bring you in for an interview or on air performance.

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 08, 2007 02:16 am

ASCAP and BMI are not marketing groups and are not in and of themselves going to get you radio play. If you do however manage to get yourself some radio play, they will be the only real chance you have to get paid from your music being on the air. I'm not sure how one would get ripped off from BMI or ASCAP. I belong to BMI, but have not really had any positive or negative experiences with them, other than it's pretty easy to register songs.

Member
Since: Jul 23, 2004


Jan 08, 2007 12:51 pm

The complaint I have been finding on the net against ASCAP/BMI is from people who claim NOT to have been paid when they have proof of extensive play. Real? I don't know.
I am currently of the opinion that it is a necessity (perhaps necessary evil?) to retain membership in one of these orginizations on the chance that a song may get major exposure.. say in t.v. or movie. Radio play would be cool.. but really it seems it's importance as a medium is fading.. perhaps I say that because all of the stations around here are boring.
I AM quite interested to know what people make per play of a reasonably successful song.. but really it seems to me that any exposure and any cost or missed income from outdated survey techniques on the part of ASCAP/BMI are best categorized as advertising costs for the only real money maker in music.. live play. Of course IF I should get paid and didn't I too would be angry. Though right now I am just happy if someone says.. hey I like your song.

bace135 in the house tonight!
Member
Since: Jan 28, 2003


Jan 08, 2007 01:02 pm

Quote:
The complaint I have been finding on the net against ASCAP/BMI is from people who claim NOT to have been paid when they have proof of extensive play


well, if ASCAP/BMI did not chart that radio play, then they are guilty of not doing their job, not ripping off the artist. If ASCAP/BMI did chart the play and get paid for it, I find it highly unlikely they would not give the artist their share per the contracts involved.

I can't remember what the exactly how it works, but the amount you get paid depends on the number of potential listeners, media, and other criteria, there is no one set amount. Anyway you work it though, you likely won't see too much from ASCAP/BMI as the amount is not that great.

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 08, 2007 01:16 pm

When I worked in radio back in the 80s, We had to fill out a BMI log once a year, for three days or so. We kept track of every song title and author played for those days, and returned the forms to BMI. It did seem haphazard to me, and rather random and incomplete. I don't know how ASCAP figured out how much the station owed them, as I wasn't involved with that.

Administrator
Since: Apr 03, 2002


Jan 08, 2007 01:18 pm

Today I am sure their playlists are all digital databanks with massive logs of everything played, it's probably pretty easy to tabulate now.

Ne'er ate 'er
Member
Since: Apr 05, 2006


Jan 08, 2007 01:26 pm

Oh, without a doubt.

Starting to feel like a dinosaur.

Member
Since: Jul 23, 2004


Jan 09, 2007 01:17 am

Here's a link to fairly well balanced version of the debate that started my post here:
cdbaby.org/stories/06/08/10/4085523.html


Member
Since: Jul 23, 2004


Jan 09, 2007 01:45 pm

I want to add this last thing.. I decided to go ahead and sign on with ASCAP.. I was leaning towards BMI but their site is loaded with typos and inattention to detail.. Sure the hippy/anti-establishment side of me feels dirty doing it.. but the side of me that cries while writing songs, lugs amps up countless stairs, puts thousands of dollars into equipment, played with green fingers when the drummer mistakenly bought bronze strings, writes songs in my freezing garage... etc.. etc.. also takes my music seriously enough to want to get something if I am at all lucky enough to have real commercial success. Sure maybe I could retain complete control of the collections side of the music business.. but I would rather play and write.. it's hard enough to get enough time doing that.
Doing music and marketing it is enough of a full time job.. not to mention the endless learning curve of recording oneself.

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