How are the copyright holders of a songs compensated? Are they rewarded adequately for its use and broadcast in film and TV? It is a PRO, Performance Rights Organization that is in charge of collecting revenues on the behalf of songwriters or publishers. Otherwise, copyright holder for the publicly broadcasted tracks. PRO collects from the user of the copyrighted work a document called cue sheet that tracks the information about which music was used where. This ultimately ensures the royalties are collected and distributed to the copyright holder for the use of the work. So, here is all you need to know about music cue sheets.

Definition to Music Cue Sheets

Simply, cue sheets are an entry log for music that we use in production. PRO’s have a huge database and they update it systematically. But the database alone won’t reflect when and where music is used in the productions. It’s a cue sheet that makes their job of collecting revenues feasible. The producer and team fill out the document and send it to the PRO , which can be done quarterly or semi-annually.

There are other ways apart from the cue sheet through which the company gets information about broadcasted music. Still the cue sheet is the most crucial document for tracking royalties and making sure the artists get paid.

Who is responsible to fill Cue Sheets?

The production company is responsible for filling out and delivering music cue sheets to the PRO. The music department generally handles the responsibility, more specifically, the network staff, music supervisor, producers or junior executive in that department. Some PRO’s like ASCAP prefer to receive physical cue sheets. Therefore, you should mail a legible hard copy to their official address. Other PRO’s have dedicated online portal to fill out the cue sheets.

Additionally, Tongal has a great article on how to fill music out a cue sheet here.

Information on Cue Sheets

Though there is no uniform format for a music cue sheet, it must include the following standard information. A typical cue sheet essentially becomes a large spreadsheet.

  • Film or Series Title
  • Episode Number
  • Series Title
  • Episode length
  • Date of air
  • Show length
  • Song Title
  • Publisher
  • Composer
  • Usage & Timing
  • PRO

What is the deadline for submitting cue sheets?

We suggest submitting them as soon as possible. After the broadcast of the program, the timeframe to submit is generally three months. Generally, they have pre-set deadline for submitting the cue sheets. PRO distributes royalty six months after the broadcast performance approximately.

BAM Music process for music cue sheets

With the number of independent artists on the rise who are responsible to collect their own royalties, it is crucial to understand how to fill cue sheets accurately, and have a process tracking music usage. As new artists in the industry are often unfamiliar with cue sheets, it is essential to learn this process and keep track of the critical information, and also for publishing companies to be aware and advocate.

At BAM Music, we believe in providing fair deals to our artists as it is their asset and we are just the means to voice and distribute their works.

Our Cue sheet shows:

  1. Title
  2. Composer
  3. Publisher and producer
  4. Duration of use

This information is mandatory for all televisions, cinematographic, or radio productions. Any usage of our work will subject to the licensing process. There are two means of relaying the usage information to BAM, based on which of the following production usage applies to you:

  1. For producing film, TV, or radio, you must complete a music cue-sheet through which the broadcaster can make a declaration to SACEM or other corresponding national PRO .
  2. For social network usage, a cue sheet is not necessary. What you have to do in this case is simply notify us of your use of the music. Then, BAM will issue an invoice that acts as a transfer of rights.

Since the artist royalties depend upon cue sheets information, make sure they are accurate, as this can delay or impact the amount of the royalty collected to distribute. Here is our trendy boomy and reflective track love from BAM. To conclude, Music vocabulary is vast and deep. Keep connecting with my blogs for more musical information.