The AJ Community Guide #2 - Performing Rights Organisation Royalties (PRO)

Well, unfortunately no, they’re not, that’s the point.

We can’t just look up an ad and see how many plays it has, or even just to watch it, as it’s not necessarily on YouTube or anywhere else except uploaded to the advertising network.

This is what makes it complicated. I see an ad before all kinds of YouTube videos many times per day with my music in it, which would mean A LOT of money if it was aired on TV… Performance royalties from YouTube is still new, and even my PRO don’t know much about it, so that’s why I’m wondering if anyone has some experience from their PRO?

This is potentially a very good royalty source for all of us.

I get your point. However everything what happens on Youtube is a kind of internet royalties IMHO. I suppose there may be (or there will be) different rates for such usage but I have no idea how it looks now.

Are you sure such Youtube ads are not uploaded to Youtube? I have seen some similar ads with my music and their Youtube versions had crazy number of views so I thought they are related. I can imagine that some of them may be “unlisted” on Youtube so you can watch them only in ad campaigns. I really don’t know how it works but I can ask friends from video agencies :slight_smile:

Other question is what happens if such ads are displayed before shows in streams of popular TV channels? Like VOD, IPLA etc. Are they treated as internet or as TV broadcast?

Hi, you are correct (I just did some research)!

YouTube ads are uploaded to YouTube first, BUT they can indeed be unlisted. So only if they are public can we try to find the ad and check the view count. I would assume many of the shorter bumper ads are unlisted, while big epic trailers are often public because people want to watch those ads again and again.

And I also found out that paid views (when the video runs as an ad) indeed count as regular views on that video, so the big epic movie trailers with millions of views can be 99% paid views.

Anyway, good to know this, but it’s still hard to find the ads on YouTube and impossible if they are unlisted, while they can have millions of views…

Even worse - some say that PRO collect internet royalties only when monetization is on and it’s routed to you. Such ads do not have ads (it’s obvious) so according to that unconfirmed info they can’t generate any royalties. Another PRO absurd.

Thank you @RedOctopus!

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Thank you for putting this together, @RedOctopus and everybody who has contributed to this guide! The most comprehensive read on this topic found online :pray:

This Post is amazing…Epic! It answered so many questions I had and didnt even know how to phrase properly, let alone where to find it. Thank you so much for your time and generosity and to all those who helped you put this together! :clap:

im trying to get on top of my PRO game and really make sure I am doing everything right. My composer name as registered in BMI is Menachem Engel (my real name)…i am pretty sure that is my ipi number…do i need to take away the first two zeros? and is it ok to leave the publisher part empty? Thanks!

edit - Was this work created for Film, TV, Theater, or Music Library? - what do we put here? yes or no?

First of all it may be better to register a nickname in PRO and register tracks under the nick. IMHO

The rest is ok. AJ is a music library.

so i need to check that? then it asks me for all this info…cd number,etc? what’s that?

You can always ask the support. I am always confused with those fields so I suppose it is not important :slight_smile:

are you with BMI?


Can I register with American PRO as a non-resident?
Is it also possible to register in different PROs at the same time?
thanks :slight_smile:


Usually not but it may differ in some PROs.

You can be a self-publisher in other PRO while being a writer in other.

Hi RedOctopus, thanks so much for all your help here. When you say “register a nickname in PRO” is this what you’ve done with Ascap and did you register the nickname “RedOctopus”? Looks like PRS where I am in the UK allow me to register a pseudonym which I imagine is the same thing. What’s the benefit here of using a nickname instead of using my actual first name and surname? Thanks again!

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Hi. Yep, I did it in ZAIKS. Pseudonym = nickname.

Many clients fill our nicknames in the cue sheets instead of PRO registered names so without this it might be impossible to match royalties.

Thanks RedOctopus that makes a lot of sense. So on the PDF sent out to customers do you still inform them to use your real name or do you also just put the nickname here too? I suppose it will work either way.

I have one more two part question which relates to PRO but also CID and it’s about variations and titles:

  1. If a song is called something like “Uplifting Ambient Background” is it worth giving it an AKA name that’s more like a traditional song name and registering that as an alternative title with the PRO and also putting it in the AJ description?

  2. If I have one item on AJ with two variations included, eg: a main version and a full length acoustic variation that has no drums and bass, should I upload both versions to indentifyy?

Thanks so much for your quick response and thanks again for the great resources you’ve collected.

Each track is registered using one name so I use this name in each pdf. PROs should match your name even though cue sheet is filled with your nick (and vice versa) as long as you have registered nick in PRO.

IMHO it doesn’t matter in terms of PRO. At least in theory. Unique titles are… more unique so maybe it can slightly increase chances of matching?


Most of these issues were described in the guide btw :slight_smile: you can read it again if you like, it is complex topic.

Hi thanks for your quick response. I’m actually reading it again now and just saw your message. I just read the part about uploading all versions! I’m going to read it all again a third time, as you say it’s complicated and a lot to digest. Nice one for making it all so clear, many thanks.

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