Popular royalty companies include BMI, ASCAP and SESAC, reports The DIY Musician. Collectively referred to as Performing Rights Organizations, or PROs, these organizations gather performance royalties on behalf of songwriters and music publishers.
When producers include songs in radio programs, TV programs or video games, they must pay performance royalties, according to The DIY Musician. Since PROs are only responsible for collecting performance royalties, songwriters must turn to other resources to collect mechanical royalties, which are owed when songs are physically copied. ASCAP was founded in 1915, according to History.com. Founding members of the ASCAP included Irving Berlin and John Philip Sousa.