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ASCAP vs. BMI, Which PRO Works Best for You?

When you create music, you always want to find new ways to monetize your hard work. That’s why learning more about performance royalties is very important. Royalties come in a variety of different formats, including those from BMI or ASCAP. BMI is Broadcast Music INC, whereas ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

What’s the difference between them?

If you’re an artist, then there’s not a massive difference. Artists usually prefer one over the other, but they provide a similar benefit. It’s important to note that joining BMI is free, for ASCAP you have to pay a $50 fee once, then you can use it. If you are a business and want to use an artist’s work, then you have to pay the collection society a fee. But as we said, artists choose one over the other, so not every artist will be on the same platform. That means you have to license with ASCAP and BMI if you want artists from both platforms.

Public performance licenses are based on how music is performed, but also the establishment size. That means a license for performing live in front of a large audience is much less expensive when compared to background sounds for individual use.

The ASCAP and BMI rates

ASCAP has published a list with their license rates, and they can vary significantly. You can end up paying anywhere from $100 to over $1000. BMI on the other hand has an average license of $250 to $400 per year. However, if you’re a large business, you usually pay closer to $2000 a year. In this latter case you have to contact them separately for a quote. As you can see, license rates can vary based on what you need, and both of them can get very expensive depending on your requirements.


Which is the better option? Both ASCAP and BMI do the same thing. However, their prices can differ depending on what you need them for. ACSCAP is cheaper in the long term, but BMI can be cheaper for a writer. BMI has high quality workshops, yet ASCAP comes with more helpful tools aside from workshops. They also have cue sheets and a variety of options. BMI is very popular among artists, so it can be a good option. It’s important to assess their licensing options, then you can pick which is the better option to fit your needs.

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