ASCAP and BMI

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Added: Thursday, March 3rd, 2016
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ASCAP and BMI

In the 1890s after music began to be recorded and sound recordings began to be sold, music publishers and composers, who made money on the sale of sheet music saw their revenues decrease every in 1914, composer Victor Herbert decided to form a union to bargain collectively with the record companies. He signed up popular composers like Irving Berlin and John Philip Sousa, and founded ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and negotiated fees from the record companies to help offset the loss from sheet music sales, and after radio began broadcasting in the 1920s, ASCAP negotiated rights with the broadcasters as in 1939, when ASCAP proposed a large increase in rates for radio, the National Association of Broadcasters decided to start their own composer/publisher organization to compete with ASCAP. They formed BMI, Broadcast Music, Incorporated, and two years later, all radio stations refused to negotiate with ASCAP, preferring instead to play only music by BMI composers and ASCAP and the broadcasters reached an agreement and today almost all American composers and publishers are represented by either ASCAP or BMI.

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