If you think that ASCAP has records on hand of all your music being used on TV commercials, and are PROACTIVELY working on getting you those back end royalties….THINK AGAIN. Also, don’t expect any companies you work with that license your music to be tracking that stuff carefully either.
Now I can only say great things about the folks at ASCAP that handle that stuff…ONCE YOU HAVE GATHERED ALL THE EVIDENCE AND CONTACTED THEM. That means, the invoice sent to client and commercial promo checklist (both of which you can acquire from the company that licenses your stuff, if you don’t do it directly yourself), an mp3 of the song used, all the ifo about the registered title on ASCAP (the track ID, your member #, track name, etc) and finally…
I’ve been using a site called competitrack.com. They are amazing! If you know the advertiser/product (in my case, Aquafresh Whitening Trays) and the approximate time period in which it aired on TV, you can do a search for the commercial and watch :15 second video clips. Within minutes I found my track and the reports showed that it aired 4,000 times.
I turned in these reports along with everything else to ASCAP, and followed up weekly with an email/phone call to check on progress. As a result, ASCAP finally confirmed everything and deposited 7K into my bank account. That’s right. $7,000.
I have about 5 other cases open with ASCAP, one of which is confirmed and will be paid out in the next distribution Jan 4th.
So make sure you get all the details from your licensing partners! It’s “found money” for both them and you, so they shouldn’t be resistant in the least when it comes to getting you all the documentation you need.