A public performance license in the United States pays a royalty to the copyright holder of the composition (song). This is typically the composer or their publisher. However, sometimes rights are sold. If public performance rights are sold, a song might have a new owner, other than the original composer or publisher. Public performance royalties in the United States are collected primarily by three agencies: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. How much you pay for your public performance license is based on a number of variables, and is determined by these agencies. How much the composer/copyright holder gets paid is also determined by these agencies. In general, the entire pool of collected royalties is split among all of the member composers in proportion to the number of plays they received.