What Are Music Royalties and How Do I Collect Them

What Are Music Royalties and How Do I Collect Them

What are music royalties

As a musician, understanding the various types of music royalties and how to collect them is crucial for generating revenue. In this article, we'll break down the different types of music royalties and provide information on agencies that can help you collect them.

 What are music royalties

Types of Music Royalties

There are several types of royalties, each with its own purpose and way of being collected. Here are the most common types:

 

  1. Mechanical royalties - These are earned when your song is reproduced. Such as when it's used in a physical or digital format, like a CD or streaming service. Mechanical royalties are paid to the songwriter or composer. They are collected by a mechanical licensing agency, like the Harry Fox Agency.
  2. Performance royalties - These are earned when your music is publicly performed, such as on the radio or a live performance. Performance royalties are paid to the songwriter, composer, and publisher, and are collected by performing rights organizations (PROs), such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC.
  3. Synchronization royalties - These are earned when your audio is used in a film, TV show, commercial, or other visual media. Synchronization royalties are paid to the songwriter, composer, and publisher. These are collected by a synchronization licensing agency, like the Harry Fox Agency or Music Reports.
  4. Print royalties - These are earned when your song is printed, such as in sheet music or songbooks. Print royalties are paid to the songwriter, composer, and publisher. They are collected by a print licensing agency, like the Harry Fox Agency.

 

How to Collect Music Royalties

Now that you know the types of different royalties, let's discuss how to collect them.

 

  1. Register your songs - The first step in collecting music royalties is to make sure your songs are properly registered. You can do this with a PRO or a mechanical licensing agency, depending on the type of royalty you're collecting.
  2. Sign up with a PRO - If you're earning performance royalties, you'll need to sign up with a PRO. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are the three major PROs in the United States, and they all offer online registration for songwriters and publishers.
  3. Use a music distribution service - If you're earning mechanical royalties from digital streams or downloads, you can use a music distribution service like DistroKid, TuneCore, or CD Baby to collect royalties on your behalf. These services will distribute your music to digital stores and streaming platforms and collect mechanical royalties for you.
  4. Work with a licensing agency - If you're earning synchronization or print royalties, you can work with a licensing agency to help you collect them. The Harry Fox Agency and Music Reports are two examples of licensing agencies that can help you collect these types of royalties.
  5. Keep track of your royalties - Finally, it's important to keep track of your earnings and make sure you're being paid what you're owed. Most royalty collection agencies offer online portals where you can monitor your earnings, and it's a good idea to review these regularly to ensure accuracy.

 

Conclusion

Collecting music royalties can be a complex process. By understanding the different types of royalties you can learn what you're entitled to.

By registering your songs, working with PROs and licensing agencies, and keeping track of your earnings, you can ensure that you're receiving the royalties you're owed for your hard work and creativity.

Click here for how information on how a music distribution agency can help you streamline the royalty collection process.

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