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  • Writer's pictureRandy McGravey

ASCAP vs BMI for Recent Royalties (actual numbers)

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

I've been writing with one certain co-writer for a few years now and it has been a great experience. The two of us are part of different PROs: one with ASCAP and one with BMI. Ever since the royalties from our tracks have started to come in, I've been studying the differences.


Today I'll share some actual figures that may help shed some light on the debate over which PRO is better. I will also share which payments are delayed or haven't shown up in one or the other PRO. A lot of these tracks were from 1 album, but some others were one-off briefs. These were all from each of our most recent statements. I'll put info about previous statements below. I also left out some small insignificant payments (pennies) or ones that were hard to understand.


These were all instrumental placements by the way, specifically written for licensing purposes.

Placements

ASCAP Payment

BMI Payment

E Talk (Canada, 3 episodes)

$29.61

$32.72

Spanish Radio Placement

$10.80

$7.85

NBC (Sport Placement)

Not paid yet, but cue sheet filed

$11.60

Fox Sports Placement

Not paid yet, but cue sheet filed

$15.44

Denmark, various placements

~$68

Not paid yet

Norway, various placements

~$18

Not paid yet

Poland, various placements

~$6

Not paid yet

Sweden, various placements

~$7

Not paid yet

US Radio, various placements

Not paid yet

$2.50

Bravo Channel show (US)

Not paid yet

$22.50

Outdoor Channel placement (US)

Not paid yet, but cue sheet filed

~$5

Sports Streaming Placements (MLB)

Not paid yet

$1

Totals from collab tracks

~$139.41

~$98.61

If I were to estimate the total earnings of that collab album over the past year, it is probably something like $350 for the ASCAP member, and $100 for the BMI member.


The biggest difference I've noticed so far is that BMI takes a lot longer to pay for international placements, and ASCAP tends to take longer to pay for domestic placements. In fact, from ASCAP I've been receiving international royalties for about 1 year from that full album that I mentioned, from at least 10 countries. The BMI cowriter only received payments from that album from 2 countries so far. I've also received easily over $100 from that album from each of the previous 2 ASCAP statements.


So far that particular album has earned significantly more from the ASCAP writer than it has from the BMI writer. Granted, most of the placements have been international. We all know the ASCAP survey system for domestic placements isn't ideal, but their international income seems to at least come through faster. As I've said before, if you get mostly American placements you might prefer BMI. If you get mostly international placements, you might prefer ASCAP.


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1 Comment


pgamusi
Mar 08, 2023

Thanks for this Randy. I am a ”newbie” at the sync bus. I mainly compose vocal tracks but now might focus more on instrumentals; even though I upload an instrumental version with each track. I play piano and trombone- plus use midi. My music is very eclectic and I‘ve only used ‘Songtradr‘ so far (no placement yet); any pointers in this directioon?

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