My Step-By-Step ASCAP Publishing Guide

How do I publish a song as an ASCAP artist?

As an ASCAP artist, publishing a song involves a few key steps:

  1. Create Your Music: The first step is to create your music. This could involve writing, arranging, recording, and producing the song.
  2. Join ASCAP: To publish your song as an ASCAP artist, you need to be a member of ASCAP. You can join as a writer and a publisher. As a writer, you’ll receive royalties for the musical composition (melody & lyrics). As a publisher, you’ll collect royalties for the song’s usage (like radio play or performances).
  3. Register Your Song: Once you’re a member, you can register your song with ASCAP. This involves providing information about the song, such as the title, length, writers, publishers, and split percentages if there are multiple contributors. Registering your song ensures that you’ll receive royalties whenever it’s played.
  4. Distribute Your Music: To get your music out there, you may want to distribute it through various channels. This could include digital platforms like Spotify or Apple Music, physical media like CDs or vinyl, or performances at live events.
  5. Monitor Your Royalties: ASCAP will track when and where your music is played and collect royalties on your behalf. These royalties are then distributed to you on a quarterly basis. It’s important to keep your contact information and banking details up-to-date to ensure you receive your payments.

Remember, while ASCAP collects performance royalties, they do not handle mechanical royalties (those generated from sales, streaming, etc.). For that, you’ll need a mechanical rights organization or a service like Songtrust.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to copyright your music to protect your work. In the U.S., you can register your song with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Please note that this is a simplified overview of the process. There might be additional steps depending on your specific situation and goals. For detailed guidance, consider consulting with a music industry professional or attorney.

How do I set up an ASCAP account as both a writer and a publisher?

Registering as both a writer and a publisher with ASCAP involves the following steps:

Registering as a Writer:

  1. Go to the ASCAP website: Visit ASCAP’s official website and find the “Join” section.
  2. Choose ‘Writer’: Select the option to join as a writer.
  3. Fill out the application: You’ll need to provide personal information, including your legal name, address, social security number, and contact information.
  4. Pay the one-time fee: There is a one-time, non-refundable application fee for joining ASCAP as a writer. As of now, this fee is $50.
  5. Submit the application: Once you’ve filled out the application and paid the fee, you can submit your application. It may take a few weeks for ASCAP to process your application.

Registering as a Publisher:

  1. Go to the ASCAP website: Visit ASCAP’s official website and find the “Join” section.
  2. Choose ‘Publisher’: Select the option to join as a publisher.
  3. Fill out the application: You’ll need to provide information about your publishing company. If you don’t already have a publishing company, you’ll need to set one up. This involves choosing a unique name that hasn’t already been registered with ASCAP.
  4. Pay the one-time fee: There is a one-time, non-refundable application fee for joining ASCAP as a publisher. As of now, this fee is $50.
  5. Submit the application: Once you’ve filled out the application and paid the fee, you can submit your application. It may take several weeks for ASCAP to process your application.

After you’re registered as both a writer and a publisher, you can begin registering your songs with ASCAP to collect performance royalties. Remember, ASCAP doesn’t handle mechanical royalties, so you’ll need to set up a separate arrangement to collect those, such as through a service like Songtrust.

As always, consider consulting with a music industry professional or attorney for more detailed guidance.

OK, what are the steps to register a song?

It’s easy to register new works on ASCAP and only takes a few minutes.

For this example I’m registering a new composition I recorded as Briyan Frederick called “Twilight’s Echoes Of Wonder” which was created for the Vision of Twilight compilation by Harsh Reality Music under the Electronic Cottage Group on Facebook.

Go To Your ASCAP Dashboard and click Register a Work

Fill out both sides: Writer share and Publisher share. Be sure you have both kinds of accounts so you can receive 100% of the royalties you are due.

Continue to scroll down and you’ll find a string of questions to answer or skip regarding this work. The top question asking “Has this work been recorded?” is likely a Yes answer.

Where do you locate your work’s ISRC number? Since I distribute my music through DistroKid, I go to the My Music page there.

Then I click on the song I’m registering as a new work on ASCAP.

You’ll find the ISRC number as circled above.

I also fill out the recording time and then click Submit and we’re done.

It’s easy.


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I feel vaguely confident that this song, created entirely out of other peoples’ loops (in the spirit of the competition) is the only one like it in this collection.Fluffy Porcupine
musicianjournal.com/projects/skin-disguised-remix-project

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