LicenseFAQ

PRO Music Rights

If you want to use PRO music in your film, commercial, place of business, or beyond, it is essential that you know about PRO music rights. That way, you can play music without worrying about winding up with a PRO music rights lawsuit on your hands!

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What are PRO music organizations?

PRO stands for Performing Rights Organization. These organizations collect and distribute performance royalties to their members any time a member’s music is performed publicly. This means that whenever a song is performed on the radio, in a television show or TV commercial, in a live performance, or on a digital streaming service, the PRO will work to get royalties to the member whose music was performed.

What is PRO-free music?

PRO-free music is music that is not registered with a Performing Rights Organization. When an individual chooses to work with a PRO-free song, they do not have to worry about negotiating licensing fees with a PRO or filing a cue sheet, which is a document used to track public performances of PRO music. For this reason, obtaining the legal rights to perform PRO-free music is often a faster process than going through PROs.

PRO-free music collection on PremiumBeat

When you use PRO-free music from PremiumBeat in your projects you can rest assured that you won’t run into any PRO music rights lawsuits down the road. No one wants that headache! To explore our PRO-free music collection, go to our search page, scroll down to Advanced filters, and select PRO-free. It’s that easy.
About PROs
What does PRO stand for?
PRO stands for Performing Rights Organization. These organizations essentially act as the middleman between copyright holders and the people who use or perform copyrighted works. Whenever a song is performed live before an audience, played on the radio, in a television show, or streaming service, or played over the speakers in a shop or restaurant, it is the responsibility of the PRO to collect public performance royalties and distribute them to the copyright holder. People interested in performing a PRO song must apply to the PRO that protects that track for the rights.
What do PRO organizations do?
Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) are agencies that act on behalf of their members, collecting royalties for these musicians or writers whenever their music is performed or broadcast publicly. To generate these royalties, PROs issue blanket licenses or single user licenses to public venues, online websites, and TV and radio stations. Restaurants, sports arenas, stores, airports, any public place that plays music must purchase a license from the PROs. That licensing fee is processed by the PRO and paid out as a performance royalty to songwriters and rights holders such as publishing companies. PROs also maintain a high level of activity in the legal arena by taking alleged rights violators to court and lobbying on behalf of their rights holders.
Should artists join PROs?
It depends on your goals as an artist. If you play a lot of live shows, signing up with a PRO may be in your best interests. PROs collect royalties for you every time you perform an original composition live. All you need to do is submit a set list to your PRO of all the original music you performed, and the PRO will send you your royalties. Each of the three main PROs (ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC) may also offer unique benefits to those who sign up to become members.
What are the most popular PROs?
Some of the most popular PROs include ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. ASCAP, short for the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, is the oldest working PRO. Launched in 1914, ASCAP is the second-largest in the U.S., with roughly 10 million works from about 660,000 members. Famous members of ASCAP include Beyoncé, Queen, and Justin Timberlake. BMI stands for Broadcast Music Inc. It is the largest PRO in the U.S., representing 12 million musical works by over 750,000 musicians. Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, and Lady Gaga. SESAC is the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers. Founded in 1930, SESAC is the smallest of these three PROs and the only one that’s a for-profit organization. It has over 400,000 music works from about 30,000 writers. Some of their famous members include Bob Dylan, Mariah Carey, and Neil Diamond.
Why is PRO-free music good for creators?
If you’re a creator, then you know firsthand how much time and energy goes into creating whatever it is you’re most passionate about. Whether you’re filming videos for your YouTube channel or preparing to put on a theatrical performance, music can dramatically add to the overall aesthetic of your piece. Getting the required approval to play PRO music in your project can be a time-consuming and expensive process. If you check out an audio library such as PremiumBeat that features PRO-free music, on the other hand, you won’t have to wait weeks for approval. Simply use the filters in the PremiumBeat search engine to quickly find the songs that suit the needs of your project. Add the tracks to your cart, select the appropriate license, pay your one-time fee, and download. Just like that, you’ll be ready to incorporate music into your video, show, or podcast.

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PRO-free music for film

Making a film is quite a process. With so many pieces to juggle, why not do yourself a favor and check music off the list? Rather than apply to a PRO and wait what may be weeks for approval, you can simplify the process by going with PRO-free music. To find high-quality PRO-free music for your film, go to the PremiumBeat search engine. Scroll down to Advanced filters and select PRO-free. From there, take a look at the Mood filter. If you intend to create an eerie mood for a scene in your horror movie, select the Horror/Scary option. If, on the other hand, you are going for something light and uplifting, check out the “Comedy/Funny,” “Gentle/Light,” or “Happy/Cheerful” mood options. When you find the perfect song for your scene, add it to your cart, select the appropriate license, and download. Included with any license you’ll get the full song, as well as short clips and loops, making your editing process that much easier.

PRO-free music for theatrical performances

Obtaining the rights to use a PRO song in a theatrical performance is a complex process. You may need both grand rights and small rights. Grand rights allow for a show to be presented in its entirety on a stage before an audience. Small rights cover the performance of individual songs in a concert or cabaret-style show. You may wind up obtaining a license that does include the right to record the production, meaning you would need to reach out to the original authors for permission. Save yourself the headache and use PRO-free music for your upcoming theatrical performance. You can find stunning overture music, ambient music, and background music for your production all within the PremiumBeat library. Explore by Duration or Instrument, Vocals or Genre.

PRO-free music for commercial use

Commercial use here refers to the use of music to increase sales for the person or company that has licensed a given song or sound effect. The music may be used in a video, advertisement, or TV or radio commercial, all of which can require a high fee. Using a popular PRO song in a TV commercial in the U.S., for example, can cost anywhere from $75,000 to $200,000 for just one year of national coverage. For a more cost-effective option, choose PremiumBeat’s premium license. If you are working on a non-web advertisement or revenue-generating content, you can pay a one-time fee of $199 to use one of our tracks in your project in perpetuity. Explore our many PRO-free music tracks and discover stellar new sounds and fresh tunes to catch the ear of your audience.
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Our Standard license covers the majority of online usage cases. Our Premium license includes more use cases like film and theatrical performances. You can easily find the track you like in our library, edit them into your project, and then share your creative content with the world.

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