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Need help in choosing the right PRO.
Old 15th May 2019
Here for the gear

Need help in choosing the right PRO.


I am fairly new in the music industry when in comes to PRO, I never had one.

I am considering to become a member of Buma Stemra in the Netherlands.
Buma Stemra is a PRO in the Netherlands.
The work together with other agencies worldwide.
I need some advice of you experts in the music industry.

My question is:
Is it in my disadvantage to become a member of Buma Stemra in Netherlands in stead of BMI/ASCAP when my main focus is on US Music Libraries?

Can you please have a look at the other PRO’s they work with?
Here is the link :

The reason for me to be considering this is because I live in the Netherlands and it is easy for me to contact them because Dutch is my native language and their headquarters is not far from my place so I can always stop by when it is needed.
Next to performance royalties they handle mechanical royalties too.

I see a lot of people talking about BMI/ASCAP.
Just want to be sure I am not cutting my own fingers by choosing a ‘bad’ PRO.
I am not saying Buma Stemra is a ‘bad’ PRO but I just need advice from the experts who have more experience in the music industry than I have.

Hope you can enlighten me with your knowledge and experience.

Thank you.
Old 19th May 2019
Gear Addict

No expert here, so take my input with a pinch of salt. Find out if Buma Stemra is a good PRO. Most importantly, read the contract they offer to their writers very carefully. If you don't completely understand it, seek legal advice. Then compare their terms with that of other PRO's. Some PRO's take a percentage of the money generated abroad to cover their administrative costs. Others charge an annual fee. There are all sorts of models. Only you know wich one makes the most sense for you.

Seek out opinions of musicians who are registered there. Are they happy with Buma Stemra? What are they good at, and what not so good?

Also very important: are they responsive to your questions? Some PRO's are helpful and supportive, others don't even answer you half of the time.

One certain downside will be that it will take longer for the US royalties to reach you. First they will be collected by BMI/ASCAP/Sesac. Then they need to pay out to Buma Stemra. That can take some time. Some PRO's do pay out to foreign PRO's only once a year if I am not mistaken. So it could take months for that to happen. And then Buma Stemra needs to register and process the money, and pay it out to you with their next statement. Some PRO's pay out quarterly, or twice a year, or even only once a year. Depends on the PRO.
In any case there will be some delay until foreign royalties reach you. Why don't you ask Buma Stemra about that? How long it usually takes until royalties from the US are distributed to the writers? And ask them what they would advise in your situation. They should be open about the upsides and downsides for you. This first contact can give you an impression about how it will be to work with them.

If you feel comfortable with Buma Stemra, and the delay is ok, it can be a good choice to go with your local PRO. Because you will be in contact with them, and that's easier with a local than a foreign PRO. But it depends on a lot of factors, and your personal situation.

One final consideration: for me it has proven to be useful that my PRO (SUISA in my case) accepts Tunesat as proof that a track has aired. If I send them a list of the airings that Tunesat has picked up, they enquire at the respective foreign PRO about these. That can speed up the process, because sometimes cue sheets are slow to be handed in. Or no cue sheet was filled out at all. And in these cases you don't get any royalties if there isn't any other sort of proof that the track has actually aired. Could be another thing to ask Buma Stemra how they handle that.
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