ASCAP Payment System

ASCAP’s main role is to make sure our members are fairly compensated when their music is performed in public. We license over 16 million songs and scores to the businesses that play them, then send the money to our members as royalties. We use cutting edge technology to track, match, process and pay on more than a trillion performances each year, making us one of the most effective and innovative PROs in the world.

While our payment system is complex, it’s based on a few simple principles:

Fairness and accuracy

ASCAP is committed to paying our members as fairly and efficiently as possible. We’ve invested in technologies that increase the accuracy and quantity of the performances we process, all while saving on operating costs, so we can put more money in our members’ pockets.


Follow the dollar

ASCAP operates on a “Follow the Dollar” principle: the licensing fees we collect from TV networks go to TV music creators, the licensing fees we collect from streaming services compensate performances on streaming services, and so on.


ASCAP operates on a not-for-profit basis

About 90 cents of every dollar we collect is distributed back to our members as royalties, giving us the lowest operating expense ratio in the US. We seek out new tools to maximize our efficiency so we can deliver more money to our members, where it belongs.


Click through for a step-by-step look at our payment system, from performance to royalty.

ASCAP Payment System resources

ASCAP’s Survey and Distribution System: The rules and regulations governing distribution of royalties to our members, including our writer/publisher distribution formulas, weighting rules and weighting formula.
Statement Guides: Our monthly royalty statements offer comprehensive data on when and where your music is performed, and how much you earned for those performances. Here's how to read them.
Cable TV Service Abbreviations: A list of the codes that ASCAP uses to refer to the hundreds of cable television stations we license. You may see these abbreviations on your royalty statements.

Next distribution*

International Distribution - November 2021

*Distribution dates are estimates only and subject to change without notice. Distributions may occur on or after the dates listed.