You may know that performance royalties are owed to songwriters when their songs are performed live in concert, whether by themselves as a performing artist or by another performer. But how do you collect those royalties?
If you belong to a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) in the U.S. (ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC), you have to submit your setlists for U.S. performances to them directly, via your songwriter account. They do not allow publishers or administrators to handle this on behalf of writers.
If you belong to a collection society outside of the U.S., you can submit your setlists for royalty collection directly using Songtrust’s setlist submission tool. You can also use this tool if you are a U.S. PRO member submitting setlists for performances outside of the U.S. You can submit performances at any and all venues - whether stadiums or hole-in-the-wall venues - in either case.
Our tool makes it easy, but if you need to submit to the U.S. PROs for U.S. performances, find out how to do this on their sites below:
You can receive royalties from ASCAP OnStage whenever your music is performed live at venues throughout the U.S. You need to provide the basic details of each performance — including which of your songs were performed — to receive an OnStage payment with your normal ASCAP distribution.
OnStage is available 24/7 via your Member Access account and on ASCAP Mobile for convenience and flexibility.
To sign up for BMI Live, songwriters should log into its landing page on bmi.com and register their setlists along with the date and venue where they were performed. They will then be eligible for quarterly royalty payments for the public performance of their original songs and compositions.
Apple iOS users can access BMI Live from the BMI Mobile app; Android users will find it on the BMI Mobile page. BMI Live’s mobile platforms offer the same services as the web app that is available via desktop and laptop computers.
Register your sets via your publishing account on SESAC Affiliate Services. Once you've logged in, complete live performance forms for as many live gigs as you’d like.
You're able to create a recurring setlist (e.g., Fall Tour 2011) and copy and paste it for each performance. You’ll need each venue’s address and capacity, the date of the show, any music fees, and the list of songs you’d like to submit.
As we mentioned earlier, Songtrust can help you collect live performance royalties for shows outside the U.S. Simply log into your account and click on the Setlists tab at the top of your screen. Tell us about the gig and which songs were performed; we’ll take care of the rest.