Music Licensing

The music industry revenue has encountered steadier growth for the past decade and the experts projected it will stay in that course for the foreseeable future. The numbers may spike up with the growing popularity of streaming among the younger generation. As the physical sales wane in the turn of 2010, other means of sales had emerged and millions of independent musicians turned to licensing their music in hopes to monetize their work. The internet paved the way for more business opportunities and almost all of them require music content. There are more music revenues to be collected compared a decade ago as we have more TV show, ads, commercials, campaigns, video games, movies, films, establishments and companies today. Every single industry needs music content to operate in order to appeal to the public. It is part of their marketing plan and these industries require the services of music licensing companies to facilitate such needs.

As a matter of fact, the US music industry revenue for 2015 rose 0.9% to haul in $7 billion dollars. The RIAA also announced that streaming has overtaken the digital and physical sales of music for the first time, rising from 27% in 2014 to 34% in 2015. The streaming sales went up by a mere 29% in 2015. Digital sales fell from $2.58 billion in 2014 to $2.33 billion in 2015, a 9.6% decline. With the rise of streaming, the physical sales suffered the most downward spiral as it only accumulated $1.9 billion sales, 10% of sales in the US. This was not the case 10 years ago as physical sales dominated the music industry. The big chunk of those comes from performing rights organizations and music licensing companies. These companies license the music of their members and distribute it to different industries across the country. There are three performing rights organizations for musicians across the US and they are ASCAP, SESAC and BMI.

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a not-for-profit performance rights organization which protects its members’ musical copyrights by monitoring the public performances of their music. This organization was launched in 1914, making it the oldest among the three. They compensate their members basing on the live and public performances of their music of other sectors. As of 2015, ASCAP has licensed over 500,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. In the year 2014, it has collected over $941 million dollars in licensing fees and distributed $828.7 million in royalties to its members. ASCAP is charging $50 fee as a writer and $50 fee as a publisher to become a member. In order to collect your publisher’s share of royalties as an ASCAP member, you need to have an ASCAP publishing company.