The Importance of Being Registered with a Performance Rights Organization

When licensing a track for use in a movie, TV show or ad campaign, in most cases, there are two separate revenue streams:

1.       Upfront Licensing Fee:  This is a one-time fee paid to you directly by the licensor for the use of the track in their production.  

2.       Backend Royalties: These are royalties that are generated every time your track is broadcast on television and are tracked and paid out by your Performance Rights Organization (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC). 

          *When a movie is played in a movie theater, there are no backend royalties generated.  However, when that movie is broadcast on television, it does generate backend royalties.

In order to receive back-end royalties, you must register with a Performance Rights Organization, such as ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.  Who you choose to register with is up to you, but, as a writer, you may only register with one, so make sure you do your research!  Don’t forget to also register all of your existing tracks and all your new tracks to assure that your registration is always up to date and that you receive these royalties.  

Since webcasts and webisodes are becoming more popular, you should also register with SoundExchange, which tracks, collects and distributes digital royalties generated by Webcasts and other digital performances. 

If you live outside the United States, here is link to a list of International PROs: - Click on “IPRO List”


  1. eastastemusic reblogged this from divisionofsound
  2. divisionofsound posted this