You can hear me on the radio again in General Discussion Posted June 6 · Report reply 2 hours ago, Keep the Show on the Road! said: I have a question. How does a radio station get permission to play music artists? Do they have to pay royalties....or something? Dave Keep the Show on the Road The 'Reader's Digest' short version is that commercial radio stations have contracts with the two main music publishing organizations, BMI (Broadcast Music International) and ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) whom they pay. The two publishing organizations then distribute songwriting royalties to their respective songwriters.