ASCAP Expected To Increase Instrumental Music Royalty Rates

By • May 14, 2005

LOS ANGELES (Film Music Magazine) — Sources close to ASCAP have disclosed to Film Music Magazine that the ASCAP Board of Directors have already approved significant rate increases for background instrumental and theme music.

According to multiple sources, the rate at which a minute of background instrumental music is paid by ASCAP will increase from 16 cents on the dollar to as high as 21 cents on the dollar compared to a minute of song used within a film or television program.

Sources indicate that theme music will also get a raise from the ASCAP Board, with qualifying themes reportedly earning as high as 60 cents on the dollar compared to a minute of song within a film or television program.

According to the sources, no changes were reported as of press time for music for commercials, promos and advertisements, much of which is currently paid at 3 cents on the dollar compared to a minute of song used within a film or television program.

These changes represent the largest increases for instrumental score music in decades, if not the highest in the history of ASCAP television distribution. These long-anticipated rate changes bring ASCAP’s royalty payment system a step closer to world standards, where a minute of score and a minute of song within a film or television show are paid at the same rate.

As more details of these anticipated rate increases become available, Film Music Magazine will provide continuing coverage, including responses from BMI and SESAC if available.

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