What Is: A Performing Rights Organization (P.R.O.)?
A Performing Rights Organization (P.R.O.) is a music publishing entity which collects and tracks music royalties for artists across the globe. The major P.R.O.s in the United States include include BMI, A.S.C.A.P., SoundExchange (Digital Royalties) and SESAC.
Benefits of Registering with a P.R.O.:
P.R.O.s allow you to collect royalties on songs that are played in a public or business setting (venues, tv/film), as well as any type of radio, satellite,or streaming service. Registering with one of the major platforms simplifies this process, saving you time and earning you revenue.
Whenever a song is played in a public setting, whether on any kind of radio (AM/FM, streaming, or satellite), in a venue, or TV shows and commercials, it is required that they pay for the use. The PRO collects those payments, and distributes them as royalties to the rights holders.
Types of Royalties
There are two types of royalties for musical compositions. First is the “Mechanical License” which governs the ownership and distribution of the actual sound recording, and then there’s the “Composition License,” which tracks splits of ownership between a written song composition.
It is important to note which P.R.O.s are collecting royalties on behalf of your songs being performed and written and which also capture the digital recording often used in streaming services. While you can only register to one P.R.O. for your written or compositional license, you can also register with a different P.R.O. to collect your streaming and download royalties.
How To Register Your Music with a Performing Rights Organization
- Identify which P.R.O. you want to register with
- Go to their website
- Register for free as an artist or for $50 as a business