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BMI Offers a Variety of Career Tools for Songwriters, Composers & Publishers Creators FAQ What do I do if my song is being played on radio, TV or Internet? Answer First of all, congratulations! Now, you need to make sure your work is registered. As soon as a song is published and/or recorded, it should…


BMI Offers a Variety of Career Tools for Songwriters, Composers & Publishers


Creators FAQ

What do I do if my song is being played on radio, TV or Internet?


First of all, congratulations! Now, you need to make sure your work is registered. As soon as a song is published and/or recorded, it should be registered with and reported to BMI. BMI’s ability to license and monitor the performances of a composition is dependent upon the accuracy and timeliness of this reported information. Without it, you may miss out on royalties.

Typically, a publisher will register songs for songwriters. Early registration of works will help prevent lost royalties, so make sure your songs are registered.

Got it thanks!

Q: Does BMI have a mobile website?

Yes, we have a rich, full-featured mobile-optimized version of our award-winning website optimized for all modern mobile phones, devices and browsers. Mobile users will see the new mobile site automatically when viewing our website.

In fact, BMI was the first performing right company in the world to offer a mobile-optimized web presence.

Q: Do I need to re-copyright new versions of my old songs?

Yes, a new version of an old song, also called a derivative work, should be copyrighted, noting the ways it’s been altered from the previous version.

Q: Do I need to inform BMI when my songs are played on the radio?

No, that’s part of BMI’s function. If your songs are registered with BMI and you are receiving radio play, then BMI will get that information.

For detailed information on our payment methodology, visit our Royalty Information section.

Q: Can BMI get my songs on the radio?

BMI conducts music showcases nationwide and offers a variety of professional development seminars, but we cannot get your songs placed on the radio. Publishers, labels, managers and other outside executives may help you find new outlets for your work, but as a performing right organization, BMI’s focus is fair payment and copyright protection for our songwriters, composers and music publishers.

For career advice on how you can be heard, attend a BMI-sponsored workshop or contact your local songwriters association, like the Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI) in Nashville.

Q: How often does BMI Live pay out?

Q: What is BMI?

BMI is what is known as a music performing right organization. A performing right organization represents songwriters, composers and music publishers. Often called PROs, these companies collect license fees from businesses that use music, including television and radio stations; broadcast and cable networks; new media, including the Internet and mobile technologies; satellite audio services like XM and Sirius; nightclubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and other venues; digital jukeboxes; and live concerts. These license fees are then distributed as royalties to the songwriters, composers & music publishers the PROs represent. BMI has been in operation for more than 75 years, is recognized in U.S. copyright law as a licensor of music, and currently represents more than 900,000 copyright owners and their 14 million musical works.

Q: Where can I find my BMI account number?

Your BMI account number can be found on either of the following:

  • BMI Contract
  • BMI Royalty Statement

If you do not have your BMI contract or a recent BMI royalty statement, please contact your regional BMI Creative department and ask for help retrieving your account number.

Q: Where can I download the BMI Mobile App?

To download the BMI Mobile App for iOS devices, visit the iTunes App Store on your computer or iOS device.

To download the BMI Mobile App for Android, visit Google Play on your Android device.

Users of smartphones on other platforms can get many of the same features by simply visiting our mobile-optimized website.

Q: How do I register my songs with BMI?

Q: What types of performances are not eligible through BMI Live?

To be eligible for royalty payments under the BMI Live program, a performance must be considered a “public performance” that is covered by existing BMI licenses.

Non-eligible performances which will not be considered for royalty payment include, but are not limited to:

  • Wedding receptions, Birthday parties, Anniversary parties, etc.
  • Internet performances.
  • Performances during Religious services.
    Note: Performances at church events that are outside of “normal church service times” are eligible for royalty payments.
  • Face-to-face teaching activities at educational institutions.
  • Performances to students in elementary schools.
  • State or County fairs.
  • Private house concerts.
  • Performances not authorized by city permit in parks or public areas. (This includes street performances).
  • Live Classical music performances.
    Note: Classical music performances are included in a separate royalty distribution.
  • Performances of public domain music (including the National Anthem at events.)
  • Live radio or TV performances.
    Note: Live radio or TV performances are included in a separate royalty distribution.
  • Amusement Park performances at Disney Parks, Universal Parks & Dollywood Themepark.
    Note: These Amusement Parks performances are included in a separate royalty distribution.

Q: Will publishers also be paid for BMI Live performances?

Yes, this program recognizes publishers as well as songwriters and composers, however only performing songwriters may submit set lists.

Q: How long does it take for an Online Work Registration to be processed?

The majority of songs registered online show up in the Repertoire and Online Services Catalog application the next day.

Titles that do not auto-register require additional processing and may take between 1 – 7 business days to become available.

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We Value Music

BMI knows that our culture is dependent on the creation of intellectual property, specifically, the creation of music. Without copyright protection, songwriters would lose their exclusive performing right, allowing anyone to use their music freely and without payment. That means that most songwriters would not be able to continue their craft, and we would not have the impressive musical culture we have and continue to build.

BMI’s award-winning repertoire includes 14 million musical works created by more than 900,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers. As the global leader in music rights management, BMI advocates for your rights and licenses your music to more than 650,000 businesses.


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BMI is dedicated to nurturing and maintaining relationships with music creators. We offer workshops and showcases for emerging talent and BMI awards for songwriters and publishers whose public performances are extensive. It’s fast, easy and free to join. Songwriters, publishers and composers can simply click the button below, allowing BMI to represent your music. More information on BMI can be found in our FAQ section.

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