What are Performance Rights Organizations?

Posted on 11/24/2015 by Amanda Willis

With the great success of the #AskVydia YouTube series, artists have been asking really great questions, not only about the Vydia platform but the music industry in general which fuels Vydia University. A place where the Vydia team can help assist and answer any questions artists may have from music video production to music video marketing.

This week, we bring Vydia University to YouTube, and our first lesson is PRO’s or Performance Rights Organizations. There is a ton of information out there about PRO’s and how they operate, so we will break this into a few segments. Today we are talking about PRO basics and what you need to know when looking to sign up for one.

What is a PRO?

A PRO is a Performance Rights Organization and in the United States, those organizations are BMI, SESAC and ASCAP. A performing rights organization job is to represent songwriters, composers and music publishers. These companies collect license fees from businesses that use music, including television and radio stations and more.

What is public performance license?

License to sing, play a musical composition in a public setting. And a public performance is defined as and publicity exploited work of music used in tv shows, supermarkets, elevators, gyms, movie theaters, nightclubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and other venues; digital jukeboxes; and live concerts, you have to get paid because you wrote the lyrics and melody to the song.

How can I sign up for one?

As a writer, you may only join one PRO at a time. You can register to be affiliated with one of these organizations, check out their websites to sign up. Publishers are able to join multiple PRO’s because they manage multiple songwriters. Also, for those in a band, each member should enroll in a PRO to make sure each contributing of the group is getting paid.

How is the money paid out?

Typically paid out in six to nine months of airdate. Once the music is publically exploited, whoever used the music is obligated under the license agreement is to report the use of that music under the bylaws on PRO’s so that the content holders of that music get paid their public performance in a timely manner. And you get based on the reported cue sheet.

There is so much more information about PROs! Stay tuned as we deliver everything you need to about Performance Rights Organizations in the Vydia U series!

Any questions you may have about this segment or other topics in the music industry, use the hashtag #AskVydia and we will be sure to feature your questions in an upcoming episode.