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    Performance Right Societies

    by Ghana Music.com
    posted Friday, 11 April 2014 00:16| 0 Comments

    BMI, ASCAP and SESAC are three different performing rights societies that most bands will need to take advantage of. Ghanaians use GAMOGRAM formerly COGSA and in the UK some use PRS.  These companies act as representatives for publishers and songwriters. Basically they are the watchdogs of the music industry.

    They will keep an eye on all of the different music venues to know when and where your song is being played and will ensure that you are getting paid for it. They will cover pretty much any area as well, everything from radio to malls, elevators, concerts, restaurants, studios, plays, movies, and the list goes on. Almost anywhere your song is being played, one of these three companies will have a hand in getting you the money for it. The idea behind these companies is that no artist can keep track of their song all over the world, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't get paid for it. Thus these companies will not only keep tabs and issue licenses and permissions to play different songs, but they will also negotiate fees and prices for the use of different songs and catalogs.

    It is easy to see how this is going to help out the songwriter. Rather than the person getting together a song and then finding out a radio station wants to play it, scheduling a meeting and then working out fees and prices, then signing the contract and allow them to play the song and then repeat this process for every radio station in the country.

    You can simply have one of these companies do it for you. If these companies were not in place, no music would ever get written and a very small amount of music would ever be heard. People would be too busy trying to negotiate fees with all of the radio stations, malls, clubs, restaurants and it would impossible for them to have time to write anything. Likewise, the companies, malls, radio stations and clubs would be up to their eye balls in artists trying to get them to play their song, asking for money and negotiating prices. It is easy to see why having performing rights societies is extremely important in the music business.

    Essentially the big societies are going to be acting on behalf of the songwriter and the publishing company. And it is up to the writer to associate him/herself to the different societies. Once that has been done the society will represent you as the songwriter and negotiate fees for your particular song.

    This will not be done on a song-by-song basis however. That too, would take forever, going around trying to get radio stations to play music, buying one song at a time.

    The way it works in the society will assemble catalogs of music. Normally these catalogs will contain music from the same artist, publishing company and/or genre. The society will offer the entire package to the different stations for one flat fee. Each of the performing societies will use this method because it gets more songs out there, for less hassle. When looking for a performing society, there are three big ones to consider. The first is the American Society of Composers and Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

    Then there is Broadcast Music, Inc (or BMI). And finally we have the SEASAC (originally called the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, but they have branched out of just Europe, so they simply go by SEASAC now). These are the artist's and publisher's options when looking for a performing society.

    Even for these companies, however, creating catalogs and keeping an eye on the entire music industry is hard work. What many publishers and artists will do is affiliate themselves with all three societies.

    This will give them the most amount of ìcoverageî in dealing with getting money from their songs. This will also put your song in several different catalogs that are being presented to the radio stations. One thing to realize about these catalogs is that you will not be paid every time a catalog with your song is sold. It is all dependent on how often your song is actually played. The radio station will look at the catalog and insert the songs they have into their rotation.

    Then whichever society sold it to them will take a look at the rotation set up, count up how many times each song is played throughout the day or week or whatever and set a price for the catalog. After this they will pay you according to how many times your songs were inserted into the radio stations rotation.

    It's easy to see that these companies can really make things easier for any musician. It frees up time and energy that you can now put into writing and making good music.

    If you would like more information, go to the performing rights' websites:

    www.ascap.com

    www.bmi.com

    www.sesac.com

     




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