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#1072534 - 01/26/15 02:16 PM ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs  
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markus-ky Offline
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Hey, Markus here....

Who on here uses ASCAP and BMI's live music programs to get paid for their works?

#1072648 - 01/28/15 04:18 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: markus-ky]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Use it all the time as a SESAC performer.

Play live, input setlist, get paid.

Pretty simple.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#1072910 - 02/01/15 06:34 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: Jody Whitesides]  
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I currently can't use ASCAP Onstage. But I had received pittances in the past under their ASCAP Plus program. For the year 2013, I performed my songs 127 times live and didn't qualify for anything. I hope the performances of 327 songs live may earn a pittance again for 2014. I checked the link Brian posted in the Newsletter for the royalty statement for Arman Chakmakian and wasn't surprised.
I won't quit my day job. But I'll continue to perform and create as long as my life's circumstances permits. A very wise person once said there's more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. And I have found this to be true in my musical endeavors.

#1073148 - 02/04/15 02:45 AM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: summeoyo]  
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markus-ky Offline
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Originally Posted by summeoyo
I currently can't use ASCAP Onstage. But I had received pittances in the past under their ASCAP Plus program. For the year 2013, I performed my songs 127 times live and didn't qualify for anything. I hope the performances of 327 songs live may earn a pittance again for 2014. I checked the link Brian posted in the Newsletter for the royalty statement for Arman Chakmakian and wasn't surprised.
I won't quit my day job. But I'll continue to perform and create as long as my life's circumstances permits. A very wise person once said there's more happiness in giving than there is in receiving. And I have found this to be true in my musical endeavors.


How come you can't use the Onstage program? Never signed for it via your writer & publisher accounts at ASCAP? You still may have time to register the setlists from mid-to late-2014, but you must hurry; distribution for the 3rd and 4th Q's of 2014 are coming soon.....p.s. maybe you didn't know about it; the Onstage thing was formed in late 2012, btw.....

#1073278 - 02/05/15 02:32 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: markus-ky]  
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Jim Colyer Offline
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I joined ASCAP in 2001, wish I could become more active.

#1075398 - 03/01/15 09:18 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: Jim Colyer]  
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summeoyo Offline
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Thanks for the heads up Markus. Before I took my hiatus from performing live I had to use the ASCAP Plus. I wasn't aware that I can now use the Onstage. I turned in my 4th Quarter for 2014. It's sad though that I'm going to miss credit for quarters 1-3 for 2014. ASCAP sent me a ballot for the first time in years to vote for board members.

#1075785 - 03/06/15 12:46 AM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: summeoyo]  
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markus-ky Offline
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That's great to hear; you may see a lil' something for the 4th Q of 2014. You will see the difference in future Q's. Just be sure your song titles are in place at your ASCAP database. And yeah, I got the ballots as well....Pass the Onstage knowledge down to your ASCAP friends if they don't know about it.....it'll help bring some extra cash-ola....:)

Markus

#1076175 - 03/10/15 04:52 AM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: markus-ky]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
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Here's my dilemma. I'm with BMI. I want to start going through BMI LIVE. Problem is the PRO's have been coming down HARD on a lot of venues in Cincinnati, who through ignorance or deception haven't paid their PRO licenses. Many have chosen to do away with live music all together, rather than pay the expensive fees or endure the harassment from the PRO'S. I've lost about 20 venues in the last 5 years to this. I play out 5-6 nights a week and play lots of originals as well as covers. A couple of my songwriter friends with the same workload tell me they make about $100 per quarter through BMI Live/ASCAP ONSTAGE. Of course you have to register every venue you play. Being a solo acoustic act, I play LOTS of small neighborhood bars, that I KNOW don't pay their PRO fees. My question is am I cutting off my nose to spite my face, registering {ratting out} these bars and risking losing MORE venues, for an extra $100 every 4 months?

Last edited by Bob Cushing; 03/10/15 04:55 AM.

bc
#1076187 - 03/10/15 10:38 AM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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That is a dilemma. The bars are getting away from paying the fee, which spread over the year may not mean much per day, but they pay the musician every day to perform, maybe hundreds of dollars. They must figure it pays to have live music, so would they stop having it just to escape paying those fees. Then you have to look at the possibility of losing hundreds of dollars a week just to gain $25.00 a month from BMI. I don't know what I would do, weigh your options and hold you nose and choose what is best for you. It is sad when the users of music will not do all they can to help the suppliers of that music, but that is the way of the world.

#1076188 - 03/10/15 11:11 AM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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From the bottom side of the pyramid (a point of view of a non-performing songwriter) it appears that the "game" is rigged in favor of Apple, Pandora, Big Radio Conglomerates and the Big Labels... plus our PRO Organizations. ASCAP sends me a newsletter via e-mail just about every day... and one of the recent issues was bragging about how ASCAP revenues for 2014 exceeded $1 Billion Dollars. Not a single dime has managed to trickle down to me. (Maybe I should say "YET!") Should I simply be oblivious and wait for the "tooth fairy" to bring me some "hush money?"

It is difficult... as Bob has pointed out... to "rat" on small venues who struggle to survive, pay entertainers a pittance and don't pay ASCAP, BMI or SESAC the required fee for owning a jukebox or having live entertainment.

Heck, ASCAP sends me a ballot to vote for Big Name Publishing Organizations Employees to be voted onto the Board of Publishing Directors... and they have stopped sending me my free ASCAP Publishers Magazine. Surely it isn't a cost cutting measure when they've had a banner year. Sure, I'm just letting off steam but all this hoopla gets old real quickly when you believe the "game" is rigged!

Have a great day, my fellow JPF'rs.

Dave

#1076318 - 03/11/15 10:18 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Originally Posted by Bob Cushing
Here's my dilemma. I'm with BMI. I want to start going through BMI LIVE. Problem is the PRO's have been coming down HARD on a lot of venues in Cincinnati, who through ignorance or deception haven't paid their PRO licenses. Many have chosen to do away with live music all together, rather than pay the expensive fees or endure the harassment from the PRO'S. I've lost about 20 venues in the last 5 years to this. I play out 5-6 nights a week and play lots of originals as well as covers. A couple of my songwriter friends with the same workload tell me they make about $100 per quarter through BMI Live/ASCAP ONSTAGE. Of course you have to register every venue you play. Being a solo acoustic act, I play LOTS of small neighborhood bars, that I KNOW don't pay their PRO fees. My question is am I cutting off my nose to spite my face, registering {ratting out} these bars and risking losing MORE venues, for an extra $100 every 4 months?


Hmmm.....that's a very good question. One I can't answer for ya...not easily, anyway.....


#1076399 - 03/12/15 09:29 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: markus-ky]  
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summeoyo Offline
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Only about half of the venues where I reported performing were in ASCAP's data base. So I know I may have fall out. I may be able to use that though to my advantage. They all should have been paying and I have the moral higher ground here.

#1076403 - 03/12/15 09:45 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: summeoyo]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Bob,

It is one of the biggest delimas out there. And yes, actually the venues are doing away with live music left and right. Like everything, when EVERYONE around plays guitar, thinks they can sing, and will do it for free, the venues are going to go for that. They will get local college and even high school kids who bring in their buddies to see them play. Pro musicians are just about at an end as a profession.

I had a conversation with BMI's David Preston this summer and he claimed BMI does try harder to work with venues, but ASCAP is just suing everyone out of existance. I have been ASCAP for 25 years but it is simply getting harder and harder to be a part of any organization.

Venues, particularly those that serve alcohol have pretty much been under constant assault for over a decade. Legal liabiity laws have hit them huge. If they serve someone under age or if someone goes and gets drunk, then gets in a wreck they sue the club. So every venue has a half dozen lawsuits going on at any one time.

Rising costs of doing business, higher labor costs, increased competition and of course, the Internet again, has many people that don't go out like they once did. Particularly dealing with increased drunk driving laws. Taxes are killing them. Local and state officials look at resturants and bars as an unending supply of money, so they hit them every way they can. The costs of food, liquor sales, when the gas prices were very high, and the general costs of living on potential customers are all having an effect.

So what do they do? Go Karaoke, which has one person to work the show,the crowd sings and acts stupid and are the show, have contests, they ALL seem to have their own American Idol version these days, OR combine the two and have Karaoke contests for money. Or have total amateur artists play. With the dumbing down of the society, there is no real talent level anymore. When most of the audience is only going to chase the opposite sex or texting (if you play live now, look for "Glow songs", which are when people are texting or playing games opn their phones and the 'glow' in their faces. All you play to are the tops or backs of heads.

Performers drop their prices to stay competitive, are are squeezed out completely. We are making just about the same money today as we were making in 1973. And as more people come into trying to do this (and they are graduating colleges daily)those prices are going to come down even farther. Supply overwhelmingly exceeds demand.

Should you rat out your venues? I can't tell you. How much of your income do you think will be derived from a PRO verses how much will you lose if the venue completely drops out of live music, or drops YOU for increasing their costs.

Tough choice.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 03/12/15 09:48 PM.
#1076523 - 03/14/15 10:34 AM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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summeoyo Offline
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When asked why he was so successful at hockey Wayne Gretsky replied that he always went to where to puck was going to be. We as creators of music need to do the same in a figurative way. While the "dumbing down" of the live music business is occurring, because of the economic situation, there still are opportunities. Even Karaoke presents opportunities. Venues still need to pay for PRO licensing because public performance of writer's works are occurring. And I must add that a lot of professional singers perform at the better Karoakes. So the only difference is that you don't have live music - which eliminates paying the players. When I was networking with local bar bands, I found that most weren't about the music anyway. It was easier for the predominately male performers to "pull chicks" by playing someone else's songs made popular by commercial radio, To be honest, I have found that most of those who care whether the music is played live are musicians themselves - which is of course the minority. If I'm running a night club, I'm not worried about the tastes of the minority - but of the majority. It's a money driven business. If venues are using music to draw patrons, they still have to pay the PROs. I don't think that because the market is dwindling for live players, there's going to be less people learning how to play musical instruments. Device addiction is more of a threat to that. Artists who love their art will still learn to play music on whatever instruments they want. They just may wind up doing most of it in a recording studio instead of live as a profession.

#1076621 - 03/15/15 04:39 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: summeoyo]  
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Marc, NAIL ON HEAD as usual. I guess it's up to me to make the decision since even the mighty MAB doesn't have a definitive answer. Seems like EVERYTHING is stacked against working musicians these days, and I'm too old and set in my ways {unemployable!}to rejoin the workforce. I guess I'll just go down with the ship. I know the BMI money is mine, I've earned it and I'm entitled to it, but when I started a dry run of registering my venues with BMI, out of 20 venues, only TWO were registered!!! I'm looking at wiping out most of my itinerary if I report them. THIS SUCKS!


bc
#1076634 - 03/15/15 06:38 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Summeo and Bob.

More and more people ARE learning to play music. Well, if you consider a plastic guitar X box controller, learning to play music. Again, people are doing mroe and more stuff on their computers, more and more really beginner stuff, that it overrides the reason for any actual musical talent.

In the 70's,there was a movement called "punk" which basically was a bunch of angry bar bands, people that could barely play three chords, just thrashing around angrily. It was kind of an 'anti-music" movement. Anything that took actual skill was taken on. That led to disco, where records ruled the day, then Seattle Grunge which was just an extension of punk. Over the past 20 years as hip hop (talking in rhytmn) and rap, have moved in, less and less musical skill is involved.

Now before anyone starts slamming me for the rap thing, I am just saying that it is the music and language of the street. It became popular because anyone could do it. That is now where we are in music. Anyone can google search music paraphanalia, get plug ins, get very rudimentary recording equipment,all ordered online. Any one can lay down some kind of tracks, or band in a box and have it all right there. Can purchase existing tracks. Can do their own recording, then their own camera phone videos. Go to YOU TUBE, build their own albeit weird fan base. Do their own web page.Do their own viral marketing. Get other programs that allow them to do videos. Start their own pod casting or web casting channel. All done right there at home.

Some of the more inventive ones can generate their own fan base and go play some form of bar or coffeehouse or pub. Takes no real equipment, just set up and play a badly tuned guitar. They play for tips or little of nothing. And have hundreds of people all willing to play if they are not. The few that get gigs hang on to them like their life depends on it. And it does.

It is all supply. Finite demand. When you make anything free and open to the public, and everyone's ego makes them THINK they are wonderful, there is no end to the amount of people that try to do this. And as people's taste devolves, the need for quality of any kind in music diminishes.

Summeayo, I think what Bob is saying and what I have been finding out is that venues are no longer PAYING PROS. They feel there is music everywhere, and they are right. And if they are being squeezed out by taxes, lawsuits, government, competition and life in general, why add another cost to them when they are overcharged as it is. The money for music is the first to go.

And that is what ASCAP, BMI, SESAC are all finding. They are not going to be able to get money from those avenues much longer. So everyone is looking for the next step. And being paid for music, I am afraid is soon going to go the way of the buggy whip.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 03/15/15 06:40 PM.
#1076635 - 03/15/15 06:47 PM Re: ASCAP Onstage & BMI Live Programs [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Bob,

I can't tell you what to do. I don't depend on BMI or ASCAP for significant royalties, and never have, because they are so iffy. and how much will you get paid if the venues that you play in are all gone, or go completely karaoke or do away with YOU? I would not look for any of this to reverse itself. Just too many people that want to do this and will do it for nothing. That is the fact of life of today. And what we are all pretty much having to get used to.

It is my experience that no matter what "you feel you have earned" there is someone that you have to convince that is true and not only do they not agree with you, they refuse to pay you.

I have a lot of friends who are general contractors. One thing they say they have a lot of problems with is getting people to PAY THEM for work they have done. Almost all have some kind of legal lawsuit against someone who just decided not to pay up for work done. Now ask yourself. If people refuse to pay for something that puts a roof over their head, how willing do you think they are going to be to pay for something they usually don't even pay attention to?

I believe we are caught up in a world we have no control over. The entitlement generation is here and it's not going away. They look, expect and are getting everything free in their life. We have raised a generation or two of people who feel this way. And these are the people who refuse to pay for any music in any way shape or form. It is all part of a bigger picture, many things are related.

MAB


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