What Does A P.R.O. Do?
If youre a music artist and you were wondering what is a performing rights organization (p.r.o.) and what do they do, I plan to answer that in this article.
As an introduction, being registered with a p.r.o. does not mean you own your publishing, there is a different application process and fees involved in being a publisher: meaning- owning your own publishing company. However your p.r.o. is acting as your publisher.
When you register with a p.r.o., (in regular people words) you are basically telling them to see how many times your song was played to the public.
The p.r.o.s have sysytems in place that tell them with great accuracy where and when your song was played across the world all at the same time. So if your song was played by 18 radio stations at the same time, 5 times in two hours, their system can track it. Bmi would be in charge of contacting those 18 radio stations and saying “hey you played this rap song five times and I think you owe that rapper some money”. Ascap has the same type of thing going on so it really doesnt matter which one you register with, but they have slight differences as far as how they operate. For instance, their pay periods might be slighly different so just do some research about the topic to determine which one best fit your goals as an artist.
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The sytem they have is also set in place to track digital plays, or streams. All those people on facebook that you tell to “click here to check out my music” you could be getting paid for those plays if you just have a registration with one of the p.r.o.s. Sesac is another p.r.o. but its privately owned.
When it comes to music publishing it is a necessary step to get your song published through your registration. So when you drop a hit you would want to contact your publisher which is the p.r.o. your registered with and let them know you have a new song so they can begin the process. Registration with a p.r.o. is free because they get paid when they collect on your behalf.
If you want to go through the process of owning your own publishing this would be your task: you would have to call the radio stations, email them or however it is you choose to contact them and let them know where to send the royalty payments and who to pay them out to. Sounds simple until you have thousands of stations to contact around the world, internet stations included.
More info like this in my Music Money School
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