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Thread: ASCAP Fees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Central U.S.
    Posts
    351

    ASCAP Fees

    Hi. I'll be renovating a room of about 2,200 square feet for dance and am wondering about ASCAP music fees. I'll be DJ'ing it, along with karaoke and some live music at times, and I have no idea as to what to expect to pay for music fees.

    Also, I noticed a karaoke system at the convention in N'awlins for around $1,500. The system comes with 3 wireless mics and its interface, along with a 600-watt amplifier. Do you think this wattage is enough for a 2,200 sf room?

    Thanks in advance for your expertise!


    ~~@^@~~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    195
    There are many variables that will determine your ASCAP fees, some of these are:

    -Nights of operation
    -How many of those nights you use DJ's
    -How many nights you have bands
    -If you have a jukebox or not
    -If you have a cover charge
    -If you show programming on televisions (dance videos or similar video entertainment)
    -If you allow dancing

    I think I covered them all. There is an option where you can just go by your sq footage. I think you will probably pay the most going by that formula, not sure though.

    I wanted to add, don't be in a hurry to find these guys, let them find you. It just burns my butt to have to pay these guys so much money. It's not like they're giving their albums away free
    Last edited by Cheek; 11-06-2003 at 02:33 AM.

  3. #3
    E-Burna Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheek
    There are many variables that will determine your ASCAP fees, some of these are:

    -Nights of operation
    -How many of those nights you use DJ's
    -How many nights you have bands
    -If you have a jukebox or not
    -If you have a cover charge
    -If you show programming on televisions (dance videos or similar video entertainment)
    -If you allow dancing

    I think I covered them all. There is an option where you can just go by your sq footage. I think you will probably pay the most going by that formula, not sure though.

    I wanted to add, don't be in a hurry to find these guys, let them find you. It just burns my butt to have to pay these guys so much money. It's not like they're giving their albums away free
    Does the amount you pay go up or down based on if you have a cover charge? Is there any ways to get the price to drop somewhat?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    cocoa beach Fl.
    Posts
    277
    UP it always goes up
    www.TheRiverRoost.com

  5. #5
    E-Burna Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon
    UP it always goes up
    So basically the best way to get a deal is:

    no cover
    minimum square footage
    minimum DJ'ing and minimum bands
    minimum amount of time music is played
    no jukebox
    XM radio (does it matter if you have this if you also have a DJ?)
    minimum fire occupancy (or do they ask for seating? will there be a diff?)

    Does nearly 3k sound legit on a bar w/max. occupancy 200 and a dj? Sounds awfully high based on what I'm hearing from others here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    cocoa beach Fl.
    Posts
    277
    sounds way high these people are legalized crooks so you must negotiate the lowest possible extortion fees.
    www.TheRiverRoost.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    1,267

    ascap

    don't pay unless they take you to court. they will send u stuff for years first. as long as its not registered mail they cant prove you got the bill. but it doesnt stop there, there is also bmi and cesac( or something like that).
    www.thesaltydog.net

  8. #8
    E-Burna Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by ministry
    don't pay unless they take you to court. they will send u stuff for years first. as long as its not registered mail they cant prove you got the bill. but it doesnt stop there, there is also bmi and cesac( or something like that).
    But from what it sounds, it seems that even if I don't pay it for 'years' they are still NOT going to stop, and eventually (be it years) they WILL sue? no? Do they end up cutting u a deal or something usually the longer you wait (seems like it)? They tacked on some service fee or something to my last statement that says it's late blah blah blah. Mind you I've owned this establishment for under 4 months. Are you an owner as well?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cheyenne WY
    Posts
    15

    With vicarious experience

    I have learned that you don't have to pay these idiots if your bands play originals, and if you pay your licensing fees for music to piped in music I.E. sirius, XM, bresnan, comcast. If you do have a DJ, the advise on the board is correct....Pay the bastards. FYI check with your licensing and make sure you are not paying for "sound on tv" That is what they have been trying to get away with making me pay for. We never have the volume on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Denver & North Carolina
    Posts
    405
    On the karaoke side of it remember that just getting the system is not the expensive part. There is the music, the video part of it, the song books and the host as well. I would suggest looking for a vendor in your area that already does karaoke. The provide most all of this and usually bring a crowd with them as well. Minimal upfront cost, but more important, they manage this part of your night for you.

    As for the DJ part of it, I would suggest putting in a small booth area and a sound system (part of your karaoke monies can go here). Maybe some powered speakers, an EQ, mixer and depending out the music you are after, a decent set of players.

    Budget plays an important part here.
    Justin Allen
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Midwest
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    655
    I don't want to "hijack" this thread but as Jallen is talking, it makes me think of something and I agree with him.

    Mainsqueeze, I think it's great when a bar owner has their own sound system and wants to do karaoke because on paper, it seems to be like the right thing to do. But keep this in mind: When you hire someone to do your karaoke, they are doing it as their profession and as a result, are probably better than you (probably). When you have one of your employees do it within, it becomes their "job". Doing their "job" gets boring and they may become boring too. Even if it is you who would do the hosting, I would caution you against it unless you're a magnificent entertainer and can multi-task because as the owner, you may be called away for other duties.

    Here's the deal, I've seen a few places try to do this (in house karaoke) and "usually" it doesn't work out for many reasons but I'll discuss the main ones. The owners try to get by with just a basic sound system (which is fine at first) and just a few songs to get going. At first, people think it's fun because it's new so the guests come out. But then, after a few months, it becomes boring for a number of reasons. Maybe a wireless mic or two has broken and you haven't replaced them because it isn't important to you and you would rather save and/or spend the money on something else for your bar (but to your guests that want to sing as a group, it may be a big deal).

    Then, there are some new songs that come out but you don't update your library because it is a little costly. So you just keep goin' for 4 months, 6 months, or even a year. Your guests start to notice because they've gone to other bars that have updated song lists and like the options. Your bar doesn't have the new songs so they're getting tired of it.

    Also, maybe your system was ok at first but again, your guests may have gone to another place and heard a system that was just a little better. Or maybe a lot better. Believe me, I've had people tell me the difference between my system and others. Compliments are always nice and some people do notice. Especially the "singers". However, to the "drinkers" it's usually not a big deal but even they notice from time to time.

    Last for now, what if you or your karaoke host has an "off night" and doesn't feel like hosting or being that upbeat? This will literally kill your night and more importantly, your profits because people won't want to drink. All the other things I mentioned don't mean squat to this last one and it's DEFINATELY THE MOST IMPORTANT. When your singers or bar guests go out, they want to be entertained and have a good time. Not to carry over from another post I started but if they go out to a bar that has karaoke and one host just sits behind the DJ booth and calls names or another one that is out in front getting people to drink, get excited, or joking around and having a good time AND talking with the bar guests, which one do you think will be more fun? More importantly, which one will be busier?

    The point is (again, sorry to hijack the thread) that no matter what you decide to do for karaoke or other entertainment (in house or otherwise), make sure that the host/entertainers are fun and exciting. That's what going out for a night on the town is supposed to be anyways. If you do decide to do it on your own, I commend you and wish you the best, just try not to get too far behind on songs, keep your equipment running well and add to it as you can, BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY STAY POSITIVE AND UPBEAT ALWAYS. Your guests want to have a good time when they go out. If you or your host is boring, they won't no matter how many songs or how great of a system you have. If YOU suck, YOU suck.

    And yes, it IS the songs that are the most expensive. Most good karaoke hosts now have between $15,000 to $50,000 in songs they've accumluated over the years. $500 to $1000 doesn't buy nearly what you think it does.

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