How Much Does an ASCAP License Cost?
If you are into the music industry, getting a license from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, otherwise known as ASCAP, will bring you many benefits. For one, an ASCAP license allows you to choose from a wide range of musical repertory. This will give you more flexibility and variety especially when you have a public performance, including such as those which are transmitted to the public via broadcast media (television and radio) and even electronic media such as the internet. Rather than having to contact each writer or composer to gain permission to use and recreate their music, you will have rights to do so anytime you need. While some people get this license just for convenience, this license will be required if you want to play certain licensed music in a venue for the public.
How much does it cost?
- The cost of an ASCAP license may vary due to certain circumstances. For example, the classification of business or industry to which you belong, the business size, and your area may directly or indirectly affect the cost.
- On average, typical small businesses with less than 50 employees pay anywhere from $700 to $3,000 annually for an ASCAP license.
- Most small businesses state that for every music license, plan on budgeting at least $2,000 annually.
- According to ascap.com, the cost of obtaining an ASCAP license to perform music depends on the type of business you are running. Generally, the rates are based on the manner in which the music is performed, such as live, recorded, audio only, or audio/visual. The size of the establishment or potential audience for the music, the duration or length of time that the music is aired or played, and whether or not the admission is being paid or if the concert is provided for free may also affect the price.
- According to other sources such as experts123.com, the cost of ASCAP license varies. For example, concert rates are based on the ticket revenue and seating capacity of the facility while rates for music used by corporations are based on the number of employees. Meanwhile, college and university rates are based on the number of full time students.
- A forum poster on the website Prosoundweb.com claimed that he had to pay around $1,400 a year for his license.
What is going to be included?
- ASCAP has more than a hundred different licenses and rate schedules. ASCAP operates under the principle that similarly situated users should be treated similarly to ensure fairness and consistency when it comes to licensing. You may check the ASCAP’s website for a complete list of ASCAP license types.
- Among the business types included for licensing are Concert Presenters; Music Venues and Clubs; Colleges and Universities; Convention & Trade Shows; Fitness Clubs; Hotels; Local Government Entities; Radio & Television Stations and Networks; Mobile Entertainment; Websites; Retail Stores and music users in a wide variety of other industries
- ASCAP license includes live, broadcast, transmitted or recorded music or performances (such those played through CDs or videos).
What are the extra costs?
- Extra costs may be incurred in hotels. This is because hotel rates are based on a percentage of entertainment expenses for live music and an additional charge if recorded music is used.
- Other fees can be charged if music is played on hold during a phone call.
- If you are large corporation that would like to have the legal advice and direction for obtaining the ASCAP license, lawyer fees will apply. However, this could help protect you in case you accidentally misuse the music or make a mistake to become in breach of contract.
Tips to know
- Check out the official website of the ASCAP for the ASCAP Clearance Express or ACE. This ASCAP’s searchable database of all performed works which includes information about the writer, publisher, and recording artist. This will give you an idea as to the musical repertory they provide..
- Aside from the ASCAP, other licenses may be needed through BMI and SESAC. BMI stands for Broadcast Music, Inc., is a “global leader in music rights management, collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it distributes as royalties to songwriters, composers & music publishers.” SESAC stands for the Society of European State Authors and Composers, is “designed to represent songwriters and publishers and their right to be compensated for having their music performed in public.”
- Failing to purchase a license can lead to potential lawsuits. All organizations will often send out representatives undisclosed with recorders. If your venue is not registered with a license, lawsuits can potentially follow.
How can I save money?
- Obtaining an ASCAP license is already saving you money on fines and lawsuits that could result by illegally using someone else’s music.
- You can save money in the long run by taking advantage of a genuine ASCAP license. Make sure that you transact with official representatives of ASCAP.