A lot of people usually become confused with BMI and ASCAP. ASCAP is considered to be the oldest PRO that is available in the United States. This comes with a lot of benefits, especially since you just need to pay a registration fee of $50. Take note that they will take longer to pay out the royalties if you would compare it to BMI.
BMI will provide you with your royalties faster. When you choose BMI, the halves will usually be split in the beginning, and the distribution will be done to all those who have registered. They both have some benefits that you have to consider before choosing which one to sign up for.
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Answered May 19, 2020
ASCAP or American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, and BMI or Broadcast Music Incorporated are two major companies where music publishers and songwriters can get performance licenses. While it might look very simple to deduce that both companies are associated with songs and music, generally, there are certain differences between the two.
First, you can easily spot one of their differences when you consider the fact that BMI is just an association that has broadcasters as its members. In contrast, you can easily figure out that ASCAP is an association of music publishers, songwriters, composers, lyricists when you carefully check the full form of their name.
Another difference is that ASCAP is the older of the two companies. ASCAP was established in 1914 by songwriters and music publishers, whereas BMI was established in 1939 as an association for broadcasters. ASCAP holds an election every two years to elect new people into the board of directors of ASCAP. In contrast, the board of directors of BMI is chosen by the broadcast stockholders.