ASCAP Announces Collections of $933mil For 2008; Warns About Digital Distribution

Film Music Magazine • March 11, 2009

Performing rights organization, ASCAP, representing nearly 350,000 lyricists, songwriters, composers and music publishers, has announced it has collected over $933 million dollars while making royalty payments of more than $817 million during 2008. It also reported an all-time low operating expense ratio of 11.3 percent.

“ASCAP worked hard in 2008 to collect and distribute the most money possible for hard-working songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers,” said John LoFrumento, ASCAP CEO.

But in looking ahead, LoFrumento issued a warning regarding digital music distribution companies, stating, “Digital use of music is skyrocketing, which should be good news for all music creators. Yet to date, we have faced strong resistance on the licensing front from many digital businesses. If this continues even as digital music use explodes, music creators will have a much tougher time earning a living from making music. It is vital that all users of music in the online, mobile and other digital areas come to the table in good faith to negotiate fair licensing fees for music performance. And considering the hundreds of millions of dollars that are spent and earned annually by these digital companies, music creators also need to be compensated fairly for the use of their works, especially when they are being used as the foundation for many of these same businesses.”


By Lou Lollio on March 11th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

It seems that ASCAP, which I am a songwriter member and publisher, continues to send out notices that there was no money earned worldwide when I have seen literally hundreds of radio station playlists with my music and copywritten songs, that I have listed on ASCAP’s list. When I have called ASCAP and requested a meeting to discuss this issue and show may playlists I have been rejected. I was told that they only pay if the radio stations are the ones they decide are payable. I am sure that I am not the only one who has had this happen. It is time someone listened. Maybe if I post this I will get my meeting. When I joined ASCAP, I was told the reason to join was so that anytime my music was played on the radio I would be paid. With electronic signatures, watermarks, encryption and digital technology, it is time we stood up for ourselves and revealed this situation as an obvious error. I am hoping that this will be received in good faith for what it is intended, to get a response when no other avenue has been available. Anyone from ASCAP may contact me by email or they should have my information. Music is my life. It is very difficult to understand denial from ASCAP. It is interesting that ASCAP would put the blame on Digital delivery as in the notice above and not realize they need to collect when music is being played. If they play my song I should be paid. Respectfully yours, Lou Lollio

By NRS on March 12th, 2009 at 10:00 am

It also seems like ASCAP issues a fore warning about how writers livelyhoods are going to be affected while they already are!! Why isn’t anyone fighting this? Writers/Publishers need to speak up or you can kiss royalties goodbye for distribution of your music playing on the internet. We already are not getting paid our performance royalties as Writers and Publishers for music being played on websites like YouTube, myspace, Hulu, etc. Pick a show like The Real World on MTV, for example which used to bring in a good chunk of performance income. Not anymore! Do you know why? Because is playing their repeats on their website. We are losing out big time and nobody is speaking up!!!!

By Nigel Watson on March 13th, 2009 at 1:15 am

Someone needs to sue/get an injunction against an internet provider or website which is using music without any proper rights agreement. Then we will see some action. Right now, the “wild west” situation is very comfortable for media users in general, the attitude being “well, it ain’t really legal….but it sure is still for free!!!”

By NRS on March 13th, 2009 at 9:34 am

Well, that’s thing though…if we give them a sync/master license for internet use or “all media”, the rights may already be granted for use on their internet. If anyone was to make suit, it would be the PRO’s which they’ve already done, but they have not figured out a way to pay the writers/publishers yet, so the money is in a holding pattern until they do so. The PRO’s are getting the money, so the Writers/Publishers should all get together and voice their opinions and frustrations – otherwise, we really won’t see this money in our lifetime.

By Tom on March 20th, 2009 at 8:09 pm

It’s not that they can’t figure out a way to do it. It’s that people don’t want to part with their money. I don’t mind sharing music, but if any site hosts music and generates revenue… they should have to pay every contributor. For christs sake, its only fair!

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