Industry Tips & Advice: How Music Licensing Works by Marshall Brain Pt 4 « GET IT DONE BLOG.
ASCAP and BMI
If you own a radio station or a restaurant and you want to broadcast or play music, what you need are public performance rights– the right to play music that the general public will hear in one way or another. Obviously, if you own a radio station playing 300 or 400 songs every day, you would go insane if you had to obtain public performance writes from every label and publisher. Therefore, public performance rights licensing is now handled by two very large companies named ASCAP(American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) that simplify the process. Each one handles a catalog of about 4,000,000 songs.
A radio station will typically purchase from ASCAP and BMI what are called blanket licenses to broadcast music. A blanket license lets the station play anything it likes throughout the year. ASCAP and BMI decide how to divide up the money among all the rights owners. (read more…)
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