Digital Licensing Simplified

For terrestrial radio there are three licensing entities that you currently pay for your broadcast.  ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.  As a summary, here is who they are and what they do.

ASCAP stands for the American Society of Composers and Publishers.  They represent composers and publishers and they license and distribute royalties for the non dramatic public performance of their copyrighted work.

BMI stands for Broadcast Music Inc.  They also collect license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers and music publishers as well.

SESAC is the acronym for the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers.  Initially founded in 1930, its purpose was to represent European stage authors and composers.  In the 1960s the company began to enter into other musical genres.  Its affiliate roster includes Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond as well as many other mainstream composers and authors.  SESAC is the smallest performance rights organization and is the only for profit one.

The RMLC or the Radio Music License Committee represents the interests of the commercial radio industry, more than 10,000 terrestrial radio stations, on music licensing matters.  Their objective is to achieve fair and reasonable license fees with the music licensing organizations, particularly ASCAP and BMI on behalf of radio stations.

Next week we’ll get into the digital side of things.


Disclaimer: The information is presented for informational purposes, you should consult with legal council or adviser for more detailed information.

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