PRO (Performance Rights Organization) – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Music Business Glossary

I. What is a PRO (Performance Rights Organization)?

A Performance Rights Organization (PRO) is a collective management organization that represents songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the licensing and collection of performance royalties for their music. PROs ensure that creators are compensated when their music is performed in public, whether it be on the radio, in a live concert, on television, or through digital streaming services.

II. How do PROs work?

PROs work by issuing licenses to businesses and organizations that use music in public performances. These licenses grant permission for the public performance of copyrighted music and ensure that creators receive fair compensation for their work. PROs then collect royalties from these licensees and distribute them to the appropriate rights holders based on the performances of their music.

III. Why are PROs important for musicians?

PROs play a crucial role in ensuring that musicians are fairly compensated for the use of their music. By monitoring and collecting royalties from public performances, PROs help musicians generate income from their creative works. PROs also provide a centralized platform for musicians to register their works, track performances, and receive royalties, making it easier for artists to manage their music rights.

IV. What are the main PROs in the music industry?

Some of the main PROs in the music industry include ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), and SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers). These organizations represent a wide range of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and work to protect their rights and collect royalties on their behalf.

V. How do musicians register their works with a PRO?

Musicians can register their works with a PRO by becoming a member of the organization and submitting their music for registration. This process typically involves providing information about the songwriters, composers, and publishers involved in the creation of the music, as well as details about the songs themselves. Once registered, PROs will track performances of the music and ensure that royalties are collected and distributed to the appropriate rights holders.

VI. What are the benefits of joining a PRO for musicians?

Joining a PRO offers several benefits for musicians, including access to a network of industry professionals, opportunities for collaboration and promotion, and the ability to generate income from their music through performance royalties. PROs also provide valuable resources and support for musicians, such as legal assistance, educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of creators’ rights. Overall, joining a PRO can help musicians protect their music rights and maximize their earning potential in the music industry.