What's The Difference between a PRO and a Publishing Administrator?


I don’t need a publishing administrator because I’m already affiliated with ASCAP right? Don’t these two entities perform essentially the same function?

Actually, they perform very different functions, but work together to achieve the same simple goal; getting you paid.

But what does a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) actually do?

The main business of PROs is the collection and distribution of money for music that is publicly broadcasted or “performed”. The PROs collect licensing fees from radio stations, TV networks, gyms, airports, bars, live music venues, as well as digital sites such as Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, Radio etc. for their use of music. Once these fees are collected, the PRO tracks and surveys all of the ASCAP or BMI licensed sources and pays the songwriters and publishers based on a percentage of performances for each song. This pool of money usually accounts for 30% of a songwriter’s annual income. To learn more about their tracking and payment system, click here.

How is that different to a publishing administrator? music publishing tips, pro

Unlike a PRO, a publishing administrator does not track your songs and deal with a specific royalty type for a certain territory. They handle all business aspects of your songs globally. A publishing administrator will not only register your songs at your local PRO, but handle the registration of your songs at PRO’s around the world so that you are eligible to collect performance income wherever your songs are being heard. They will also make sure you are eligible to collect your mechanical royalties by affiliating you and registering your songs at mechanical societies worldwide. Up until now, a service like this was only offered to top tier songwriters with commercial releases; with Songtrust, independent songwriters are now able to collect additional songwriting royalties that they may be owed around the world.



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We created this guide to answer a simple question: How do songwriters support themselves? The answer is not as simple as we’d like, but our goal is to make it as clear, transparent and understandable as we possibly can.