What Is ASCAP/BMI ?
ASCAP and BMI are a membership association of more than 270,000 U.S.
composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of
music. Through agreements with affiliated international societies, ASCAP
also represents hundreds of thousands of music creators worldwide.
ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and
controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board
of Directors elected by and from the membership.
ASCAP protects the rights of its members by licensing and distributing
royalties for the non-dramatic public performances of their copyrighted
works. ASCAP's licenses encompass all who want to perform copyrighted
music publicly. ASCAP makes giving and obtaining permission to perform
music simple for both creators and users of music.
Who Is ASCAP?
ASCAP is its members — creative people who write the music and lyrics
that enrich lives in every corner of the world.
ASCAP is home to the greatest names in American music, past and
present — from Duke Ellington to Dave Matthews, from George Gershwin
to Stevie Wonder, from Leonard Bernstein to Beyoncé, from Marc Anthony
to Alan Jackson, from Henry Mancini to Howard Shore — as well as many
thousands of writers in the earlier stages of their careers.
ASCAP represents every kind of music. ASCAP's repertory includes pop,
rock, alternative, country, R&B, rap, hip-hop, Latin, film and television
music, folk, roots and blues, jazz, gospel, Christian, new age, theater and
cabaret, dance, electronic, symphonic, concert, as well as many others —
the entire musical spectrum.
ASCAP members are individuals who make their living writing music. As a
society of Composers, Songwriters, Lyricists and Music Publishers, we
know very well that there are many steps between creation and
compensation; months, if not years, can pass between the creation of a
song, its recording, its release, its performance, and the day when the
revenues due to the writer actually arrive.
A music creator is like a small business, and ASCAP exists to ensure that
music creators are paid promptly when their works are performed publicly.
Some of the many other ways in which ASCAP can help writers include
workshops, showcases, our website and publications, and an exclusive,
tailor-made benefits package that includes health and instrument
insurance, a credit union, discounts on musical accessories, travel and
much more. ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout
Since it was created in 1914, ASCAP has become a vital component of
American culture. I recall when my first song was published, and I joined
ASCAP. I was thrilled to be part of the society that represented the works
of so many of the songwriters I had long admired, such as New Edition,
Micheal Jackson, Akon , Boyz to Men , and Waka Flaka. Today, ASCAP is
still the society of the most accomplished and successful music creators in
the world, from Timbaland to Dr. Dre , Akon, Young Jeezy ,LiL Wayne,
Drake, DMX, Diddy, Nikki Minage, Young Jock, Slim Shady, and so many
Yet ASCAP is not only about musical greatness, but also about fostering
the creative environment and incentives that are the wellspring of
innovation. Whether in the office, nightclubs, or the halls of Congress,
ASCAP is constantly working to nurture the careers of its members, and as
we look to the future, we will meet every new challenge with the same
As a songwriter and member of ASCAP, I am continually encouraged by
the many new benefits and services we have to offer, and by our ongoing
leadership role as the champion of the rights of creators. ASCAP licenses
the right to perform songs and musical works created and owned by the
songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers who are ASCAP
members and also those members of foreign performing rights
organizations who are represented by ASCAP in the United States.