Music Cue Sheets & Performing Rights Organizations

What is a cue sheet? When are you required to use it? Where should you submit it to? In this short article you'll find helpful tips about that.

What is a Cue Sheet?

Usually, if someone uses music for a production that is to be publicly performed on a television network, radio station, theatrical release (e.g. films or videos), etc., filling out a cue sheet is necessary. A cue sheet is a document that contains a detailed listing of each piece of music used in the production, including the names of all composers and publishers, the type of usage of the music (in the background, as the theme, etc.), the length of the music, and the title of each track. Cue sheets are an "industry standard". You can find a sample cue sheet here: (Sample cue sheet).

Who Should Fill Out Cue Sheets?

Cue sheets are usually prepared by producers or end-users (clients, owners) of a produced film, video, TV show, etc. Then the cue sheets are provided to a broadcaster, so that the broadcaster can report the use of the music to a performing rights organization ("PRO") every time a project is broadcast. It costs producers / users nothing.

When are You NOT Required to Use Cue Sheets?

If a composer is not a member of any performing rights organization, then producers and broadcasters are not required to use cue sheets, or to report use of the music to performing rights organizations.

How do Performing Rights Organizations Use Cue Sheets?

Performing rights organizations use the details provided on the cue sheets to identify and pay performance royalties to composers. All broadcast companies, as well as any companies that play music in public places (hotels, restaurants, cinemas, airports, theaters, athletic clubs, etc.), pay annual fees to their local performing rights organizations for the right to publicly perform music. Then these fees are divided among composers and publishers. So you just need to provide them with a cue sheet, and you will generally not be required to pay public performance royalties.

Where Can I Find the Information to Make a Cue Sheet?

You may find the information for your cue sheets in your license document (certificate). You can download the license document in your account at the "Download Center". If you see something like "no PRO affiliation" (or see nothing at the right of the composer's name) then the composer is not a member of any performing rights organization. This means that the song is free from any performance royalties and you are not required to use and submit a cue sheet for this song.

Performing Rights Organizations Worldwide

Argentina SADAIC
Australia APRA
Austria AKM
Belgium SABAM
Brazil UBC, ECAD
Bulgaria Musicautor
Canada SOCAN
Chile SCD
Colombia SAYCO
Croatia HDS
Czech Republic OSA
Denmark KODA
Estonia EAÜ
Finland TEOSTO
France SACEM
Germany GEMA
Greece AEPI
Hong Kong CASH
Hungary Artisjus
Iceland STEF
India IPRS
Ireland IMRO
Israel ACUM
Italy SIAE
Lithuania LATGA-A
Malaysia MACP
Mexico SACM
Netherlands BUMA
New Zealand APRA
Norway TONO
Poland ZAIKS
Portugal SPA
Russia RAO
Singapore COMPASS
South Africa SAMRO
Spain SGAE
Sweden STIM
Switzerland SUISA
Trinidad & Tobago COTT
Turkey MESAM
United Kingdom PRS
Uruguay AGADU