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Old 5th January 2020
  #1
Royalties

How much does a venue/bar owner have to pay for the covers a band plays, per song ?
Old 5th January 2020
  #2
It can be between $1000 and $7000 a year. Depending on your location and other circumstances related to your business

If you do not have an existing licensing agreement in place are billed at a minimum of $750 per song played plus legal fees. Ive heard of ASCAP employees going to bars and sitting for an entire set and they write each song the band plays and then take legal action
Old 5th January 2020
  #3
And if you do have a licensing agreement how much per song?
Old 5th January 2020
  #4
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
Ive heard of ASCAP employees going to bars and sitting for an entire set and they write each song the band plays and then take legal action
About ten years ago, a SESAC spy came through with the county fair. He was a carny. Made notes on all local clubs, and months later, one of them actually closed because of the fines.

It's my understanding that technically, the bands playing the music are actually suppose to be paying the fees, but bands are very difficult to track and fine, so they go after the brick and morter.

It's unfortunate, because from what I understand about this racket, most of the artists whose covers are played in clubs don't see a penny of the money that performance rights orgs collect. That money goes into the pockets of the PRO's, and to a small group of the most successful artists.

Clubs don't pay per song. Although they could track every song and pay per song, that would be nearly impossible. Instead, they buy a “blanket license.”

We played one gig for club that got hit with fines and stopped having live music, and we did an entire night of original music so they wouldn't be liable for fees. An ASCAP official told them that even if we play all originals, the club owner has to pay fees so that ASCAP can distribute the money to the persons in our band who wrote the songs. That's a laugh.
Old 5th January 2020
  #5
Again. . . How much for each song if you perform with licensing?
Old 5th January 2020
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombrerogrande View Post
Again. . . How much for each song if you perform with licensing?
Again?? you never asked that specific question.....

Each song is licensed differently. We cannot know these things. We are not privy to how each artist writes their contracts and royalty fee's.

Contact ASCAP. Make sure you have all info for them.
Old 5th January 2020
  #7
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombrerogrande View Post
Again. . . How much for each song if you perform with licensing?
Nobody, to my knowledge, pays "per song."
Old 5th January 2020
  #8
Quote:
Nobody, to my knowledge, pays "per song."
Movies do. An example, back in the day, if you wanted to sing 'Happy birthday', you had to pay a royalty fee and that fee was what ever they wanted to charge you at that time. It can change minute by minute. They could have asked for $100 or $100,000. There are no set prices. Now happy birthday is open domain, but when it wasn't, they charged what they felt like and they did. It made over $84,000,000 in royalty fee's

So asking such a question is unanswerable. You have to ask the person who holds the copyright and/or in charge of the royalties and that person can charge you what ever they feel like. Its theirs to do what they want with it and you can either pay or refuse, but they can ask for anything. So There Are No Set Prices
Old 5th January 2020
  #9
So a venue owner has to make arrangements with every licensing entity OK.
But does anybody have an idea, ballpark, about what might be charged?
Old 5th January 2020
  #10
Quote:
But does anybody have an idea, ballpark, about what might be charged?
$0.1 to $1,000,000 a song. That's a good ballpark.


What you need to do to find out: You need to pick a song and then contact who ever owns the rights to that song. They can charge you what ever they feel like and it can change by the minute spending on their mood.
Quote:
So a venue owner has to make arrangements with every licensing entity OK.
They deal with ASCAP and BMI
Old 5th January 2020
  #11
Gear Addict
The internet says:

How much does an Ascap license cost?
Instructions are to take the occupancy (50) times $3.65, which equals $182.50. However, ASCAP has a minimum fee of $390. Pay whichever is greater. So that's what this restaurant owes in order to play songs by ASCAP songwriters for one year.
Jun 11, 2019
Old 5th January 2020
  #12
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davet's Avatar
 

BMI appears to have a minimum fee right at $375.00.

A venue I played got dinged by one of the performing rights "collectors" for $400.00 after my band played in their parking lot. Not disrespecting the performing rights people, I just don't know which one it was. That said, that restaurant stopped hiring bands. They said they had to pay a license fee for canned music as well.

One place that hosted music said they would not allow an SESAC music to be performed. They didn't offer an explanation as to why, but said ASACP and BMI where OK.
Old 5th January 2020
  #13
Thank Shobud and Davet. To the others you obviously have no personal experience with my question so why bother answering?
Old 5th January 2020
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombrerogrande View Post
Thank Shobud and Davet. To the others you obviously have no personal experience with my question so why bother answering?
OBVIOUSLY, you cannot read, cause i answered your unanswerable question in my first post. I have lots of experience with it.
I do TV commercials and get the rights for bands such as Golden Earring.
You are the one with no clue

Youll get fined anyway, trusting us on answering something you should be asking ASCAP and BMI
Old 5th January 2020
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombrerogrande View Post
Thank Shobud and Davet. To the others you obviously have no personal experience with my question so why bother answering?
It’s not a question with a definitive answer, and not only because it doesn’t really work how you seem to assume it does by the way you phrased your question.
Old 5th January 2020
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombrerogrande View Post
Thank Shobud and Davet. To the others you obviously have no personal experience with my question so why bother answering?
Because (many of) the others did, in fact, answer your question. You just didn’t seem to take on board the answers.

For a venue where bands play, the normal situation in the US and UK is for the venue to pay a flat fee to the performing rights organisations (ASCAP, BMI, PRS, whoever) to cover all their music usage (live or recorded). This flat fee may range from a few hundred dollars/pounds to several thousand per year, depending on the type and capacity of the venue, but it’s still a flat fee, not per song. There may also be times when a venue makes an additional rights payment relating to significant or major events/gigs/whatever, but, again, it’s usually a single charge, not per song.

For sync usage in movie/video or to release your own version of someone’s song, you typically need to contact whoever owns the rights to it and negotiate a deal yourself and this will usually be on a per song basis. The rights holder can charge whatever they want for that - whether a mere pittance or many thousands of dollars.

(Actually, to record/release your own cover version of someone else’s song in the US, there may be an easier and more reasonably-priced way to clear it through the Harry Fox Agency, but only if the song you want is available on there. Otherwise you’re back to negotiating with the rights holders directly. And there is no equivalent of Harry Fox in the UK.)

I think that sums most of it up. Unless something has changed in the last few years - I haven’t looked into any of it for a while.

Last edited by adrianww; 5th January 2020 at 09:44 PM.. Reason: Typo
Old 5th January 2020
  #17
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombrerogrande View Post
So a venue owner has to make arrangements with every licensing entity OK.
But does anybody have an idea, ballpark, about what might be charged?
Most venues pay annually for what is called a blanket fee. This gives them a year worth of playing any music from that rights org for the entire year. Think of it like Netflix compared to buying or renting a Blue Ray disk from a shop. For a performance venue, it makes a lot of sense. Pay the blanket fee, be done until next year.

Something like releasing a record with one cover, or producing a movie or commercial, it would make more sense to go with individual an license.
Old 5th January 2020
  #18
Well CJ, at least 3 people have experience with my question.
Old 5th January 2020
  #19
Quote:
Because (many of) the others did, in fact, answer your question. You just didn’t seem to take on board the answers.
I guess the poster can only count to 3, cause i count way over that that answered it
Quote:
Well CJ, at least 3 people have experience with my question.
After 3 comes 4, then 5,6,7. You'll get there
Old 5th January 2020
  #20
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1) A music venue/bar are not necessarily the same thing. It comes down to capacity/exposure of the venue/song performed, respectively, so there is no general estimate that would be relevant to both a bar that could hold 50-100 people and also a legit music venue that holds 1,000-3,000 people. Bigger venues/stadiums are again another thing - the price will vary with all three.

2) Going back to #1 , the way these things are supposed to work are by proportionality and expectancy. Based on the demographics of your venue, a PRO will determine what you would likely have to pay if you were to pay for each song individually, then determine where that money most likely would go. It's the same if you are a PRO member as an artist - I might not get paid each instance for a play on my royalty statement, and I might get paid some amount because there was money in "the pot" that was unaccounted for, and at the time it seemed likely some of that could be owed to me.

3) You have to deal with each PRO individually, since each one will have an exclusive contract with an artist or a portion of the artist's catalogue. Anyone not affiliated with a PRO you would have to negotiate with individually, and that is even more unpredictable than dealing with on of the big organizations.

4) PRO's essentially answer to no one, so even if you find a "standard rate", as a venue/bar owner you would be helpless to hold them to that if they decided to deviate from it. They decide what you would likely have to pay and offer that as a blanket fee. There may be levels or categories to their pricing, but each license they grant is essentially unique.

5) If you wanted to try to pay "per song", either for a one-off event, or to try to skimp the system, you would pay significantly more than you would otherwise. That is why they offer blanket fee's in the first place. For a one time event it might make sense to pursue this avenue, though it would also be a much less streamlined, and much more difficult process. For a public venue owner, it is even more of a hassle.

6) PRO's are not necessarily trustworthy, and their main goal IMO is not looking out for the best interest of a bar/venue owner, nor the musicians/songwriters they represent. It is a self-preserving system, and they decide the rules. They have the resources to bankrupt most independent artists/venues if they so choose, so if you play that game you play by their rules.

This is a very complicated - though misguided - question, and you won't get any real answers without speaking to an entertainment attorney who specializes in this area. If you're in a situation where this is actually relevant to you - get a lawyer.
Old 5th January 2020
  #21
Quote:
1) A music venue/bar are not necessarily the same thing. It comes down to capacity/exposure of the venue/song performed, respectively, so there is no general estimate that would be relevant to both a bar that could hold 50-100 people and also a legit music venue that holds 1,000-3,000 people. Bigger venues/stadiums are again another thing - the price will vary with all three.
What out! The poster will lump you in with not knowing what you are talking about, since you dint give him the answer that he is looking for. Just saying

Good answer and correct answer Unity
Old 6th January 2020
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombrerogrande View Post
So a venue owner has to make arrangements with every licensing entity OK.
But does anybody have an idea, ballpark, about what might be charged?
That’s not how it works. You apply to your local rights society for a license (in the uk that’s PRS, in Australia APRA, in the US I guess ASCAP?), and it’s a yearly fee, based on your venue size, and possibly anticipated number of performances?

Everyone playing music publicly - including the hairdresser with the radio on, the bar playing background music, the sports venue etc - need a license. It’s just for the hairdresser it’ll be maybe £100/year, for the venue in the thousands.
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