Should I join ASCAP? pros and cons (beta)

I’m worried that new innovations in music discovery might not be able to play ASCAP music because of the cost. I heard that this might be the case for small internet radio stations… I’m still trying to get to the bottom of this.

Then, I did come across these ASCAP contracts for new media channels… it’s about $1000/year minimum. This sounds high to me at first for a totally underground, out-of-my-bedroom type of channel, but then I got to thinking… A fast, enterprise-speed server, which is what I think you’d want if you were going to do something like an internet radio station, will probably cost you $100/month… So basically, if you were doing that and you wanted to play ASCAP music (and not get your pants sued off) you’d be doubling that amount… say $200-$300/month…


I found a cool internet radio station called (that does play ASCAP and BMI music) and it turns out I wasn’t too far off. They say on their site that it costs about $400/month to keep their service going.

to be continued…

2 Replies to “Should I join ASCAP? pros and cons (beta)”

  1. There are other things you need, that will cost you if you run an independent station and are not part of Live 365 or other like services that do cover royalty costs, such as a reporting system software to the RIAA. I founded a 24/7 talk and music radio station streaming since 2002. We are members of NAB and we have to play only royalty free music, which is a shame because we would like to support the music industry. However it is just cost prohibitive for us with over 40 hosts. The payment goes by number of listeners, how long they stay on and covers even 10 sec of music played. If I were to play just 10 sec of ASCAP-BMI-SESAC music on my station just as intros and outros at the breaks it would cost us thousands of dollars per month. Plus the reporting of each song played is a bear to maintain. Thank goodness there are royalty free artists with GREAT music out there.

  2. is a great station… I’m a songwriter and was wondering if it was a good idea to join ASCAP, but don’t know much about it… best of luck if you start up a station…. and if you do, let me know and I’ll check it out, seeing how you like

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