Where is AJ On PRO ?

For all of those AJ authors that have only 3 sales on a track, here is some encouragement I’d like to share with you.
One Of my hip hop tracks that only had 3 sales yesterday was licensed for “Music & Broadcast Film” for a Fox Sports
reality show. I’ve written for major networks in the past (not recently) and the royalty fees paid by major networks is
incredible. I have heard some amazing talent on AJ, some of which is probably being produced by people on “shoe string budget studios” but have that “it” factor to their sound. I’d LOVE to see AJ take care of it’s authors by getting PRO up and running ASAP. I’m sure they will soon, they have always have done the right thing.
Also, I believe there should be a “platform” for showcasing AJ’s tracks that have very few sales but has a “big time” industry standard sound. We need curators that can compile “style based” collections geared for “major film and broadcast” production / music supervisors and get diamond in the ruff tracks discovered. When is the last time you heard a “corporate / motivational” track with a canned chord progression in a major NIKE commercial on TV / Web ?
Also, I think there should be a 1 year “hold option” for a “$5,000” license fee that says AJ will “shelf” that track for 12 months giving the buyer a chance to be first to market with author’s track. I don’t think my track would have been licensed by Fox Sports if it had 500 or 1000 sales. I’ve worked with these music supervisors (on a tight budget) before, and they want music that is “unsaturated” ! And a track with only 3 sales like mine would be the next best thing to having
to pay $10,000 to $25,000" to a producer to write original scores for a “work for hire” contract. Another major network I’m affiliated with has just “canned” it’s internal music production platform (where the network ends up owning the track straight out) and is looking at licensing music now via publishing companies that license similar to AJ. Except there is one big difference. PRO !!! Our music on AJ doesn’t look legit to industry music supervisors if they don’t have PRO options.
Too much of a legal liability looming to go down that path. Anyway, hope this post helps authors realize their potential here on AJ if PRO becomes a reality. Best of luck to all! Cheers!


These are ideas I’ve been pondering as well. For another point, I have at least 30 tracks that are completely unusable here because they are registered with PROs, and I can’t get them out. (I tried.)

These are tracks that would be perfect for AJ and it’s buyers, but are instead forced to sit out. It would be great to be able to figure out a solution that works around PROs.

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Yes, I think same. Pro items are difficult to sell, there is no space in AJ for it. I like this ideas.

The biggest problem is that right now all the music on AJ is royalty-free. There is nothing that the PRO’s can collect as far as royalties. If the policy simply changed to say that when you buy a license for a song you also need to pay royalties every time you use the track, that complicates things for the buyer. They may also demand lower prices because of this.

If the policies change saying that you can somehow use songs that are registered with PRO still royalty-free if purchased through AJ, that’d be great except the PRO’s would be really unhappy. In that case, songs that are registered with them can be used royalty-free and the PRO’s lose out.


The buyer DOES NOT pay the PRO money. If the tune is used on TV or radio, THEN the PRO collects royalties from the BROADCASTER, not the buyer. It will cost the AJ buyer NO extra money, or red tape. The broadcaster has to file the cue sheets. This is a huge issue, and I think that it’s time has come. AJ needs to allow PRO music. They would get much better quality composers and music. All they have to say is that it is royalty-free for the buyer. Many other “royalty free” sites are PRO friendly. There is no reason not too! Most people don’t understand what “royalty free” really means. Look up “performance royalty free”.


Sorry for offtop, guys! But… What is PRO and ASAP ?

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A PRO is a Performing Rights Organization. ASCAP is the name of one of the PRO’s. In the US you have 3 main ones, BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC. They pay you when you’re music is “performed” or played on TV, Radio, etc.

Thanks for catching my mistake on that. I guess I was unaware of the difference between royalty-free and performance royalty-free

Exactly. We’re not talking about fleecing buyers for more money. The issue is simply regarding broadcast usages. And these buyers need to complete cuesheets, and if there is no PRO info from us they have 2 choices:

  1. choose a different, PRO registered, track
  2. use the track and put their own composer/publisher “of choice” on the cuesheet instead ( I hope I’m being overly pessimistic here, but prior experience would tell me this happens all too often)

No worries! I really don’t even think AJ understands the issue. It costs NO ONE any extra. The broadcasters are already paying the royalties, but if there is no composer info for the cue sheet (as stardiva mentioned) no one gets any money. We all need to get educated and vocal about this issue. If AJ wants to do the right thing, they need to say yes to PRO music asap.

Guys, guys, guys, they are working on it. The problem is, there are countries where any music ever produced by PRO members is always subject to royalty payments and not just for broadcast use.

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Ok, then for now just allow those who only charge for broadcast. Start with the US PRO’s, no reason not to.

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Could be totally wrong of course………but it ain’t gonna happen. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

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I think it will.

it would be great

Great idea

AMEN to that. So many people, including musicians, misunderstand the PRO issue and who actually pays performance royalties versus who does not.

I’ve been watching this PRO scenario here at AJ for a while because while I’d like to sell some things here, I have no plan to sell anything performance royalty free (PRF). I think the existence of PRF is a big mistake that hurts musicians and I will not support it. The broadcast license rates here are already very low and if non-exclusive, you’re only getting 35% of it. No performance royalties turns it into a joke.

I agree that unless AJ goes with PRO music, they’re limiting their quality because most composers who have been around are against PRF.

Just had a quick look at the ASCAP website. From the look of it, it doesn’t seem that much different from European PROs.

They’re not talking solely about broadcasting, but about bars, restaurants, churches, and so on. Basically any public venues. They also have a licensing scheme for web use.

So why would American PROs be more appropriate than the others? I know it’s a common conception on here, that American PROs are only going after broadcast uses so there is absolutely no reason not to allow American PRO registered music. But they clearly state otherwise on their site.

I’m not anti PRO at all. Actually, broadcast licenses, without PRO to back them up, are insane and totally unfair to us authors.

But saying that having PRO registered music won’t have any impact on our customers, as it only applies to the broadcasters, just does not compute with what I read on the ASCAP website.

I may have read wrong of course. Or I may well be one of those musicians who misunderstand the PRO issue and who actually pays performance royalties versus who does not, as @AAMediaMusic said. But if so, they’re definitely not making it easy to understand…

One of arguably the best PROs in the business is the PRS. The PRS DOES NOT LIKE RF. That’s about as much as I can put it on this site. :smiley:

This constant point about who pays when it comes to music usage on TV for example is at the moment basically irrelevant. There’s a misunderstanding here about what is regarded as important when the reality with the PRS and TV companies is quite different.

If anyone seriously thinks at this time (times can change of course) that a PRO like the PRS, BMI or ASCAP is going to allow RF libraries to run over them and who they currently represent, (mainly exclusives) they are very much living in another universe. For an RF library to get into their territory, they would have to become an exclusive style library and upfront payments would have to stop. That completely defeats the concept of an RF.

Think about what that would then mean for composers on an RF library. Most of them would be redundant overnight. Wouldn’t sell anything. Ever.

The sort of tracks you get on an RF, a sound editor at say the BBC, just isn’t going to look at, never mind any problems with litigation too. Too much trouble anyway, the way it’s all set out. They’re searches are much more forensic and if nobody knows the difference then I suggest you do a search of the big exclusives and take a look and a listen. It’s not that the quality is necessarily any better, it’s more to do with the type of music and the way it’s presented etc. And the presentation is not any better than an RY either. It’s just a different situation.
Also, if you don’t believe any of this, try getting into an exclusive library like KPM, Extreme, et al. And you’ll see what I’m talking about. It of course can be done, but it’s very difficult.

For the moment, I would say forget RF libraries and back end payments, and just get on with what you’re doing for the RF’s.

That’s correct. Besides broadcasters, places that publically perform music may have to pay performance royalties. But restaurants, bars, etc. are not coming to production music libraries to purchase music licenses. Therefore, it’s generally not in our context.

The main thing to remember is that the place that performs the music is frequently NOT the entity that purchased the sync license. For example, retail outlets and restaurants with “pumped in” music are paying a blanket licensing fee to PRO’s covering all of their music use for the period. The stream is probably going to be popular music and not production music. However, in the event that production music does get played in a public venue, the production that is being performed was produced by a production company that purchased the licenses and they do not pay performance royalties. The venue pays it. Since they were AJ’s customer, for them, performance royalties do not matter, they only matter to YOU as the composer. If AJ was not PRF, it would make no difference to them. However, since our context is production music, broadcast use is the most relevant. Broadcasters are sometimes the project producers as well. In those cases, they might come here or some other PRF, and purchase a license without then paying performance royalties because you gave them away. In essence, the broadcast license here is a “direct license” for the performance royalties and it’s very small compared to what you could get depending on the size of the broadcast. Web use comes up, but is pennies and places like YouTube pay it, not the person who made the video. I get money from YouTube through BMI.

But what you might be seeing is that without registering your music with a PRO, you could be missing out on money from multiple sources. I don’t understand any fight that would be against that.