When I was starting in the business deciding which Performance Rights Org to affiliate myself with was a matter of who catered to the independent or who favored one genre over another. ASCAP was about the big players on radio, where as BMI did better with college radio. BMI, according to some insiders, favored country, rock or pop as oppose to urban (race issues within the industry is for an entirely different post or book, rather). Now it seems technology may neutralize this strategy. Technology may allow for licensing and performance royalties to be collected directly from venue to artist, API or possibly a centralized site or app.
Just as Spotify has centralized P2P sharing, arguably in favor of the labels, a new start up may centralize performance licensing. Unlike Spotify, this may be a good thing for the independent if royalties are not compromised in the shift, as they have been with Spotify. I write this with dampened hope because currently the PROs collect say roughly 30cents for every radio play of a song where as Spotify collects a fraction of a fraction of that for every stream.
See on www.digitalmusicnews.com