Song royalties

Song royalties DEFAULT

How Much Money Is Paid to a Songwriter in Performance Royalties?

By Johnny Kilhefner

Songwriters generate extra money through royalties.

The amount of money paid to the songwriter depends on the format the song sells in, how many copies are manufactured, whether the song is performed much in public, how many streams the song gets digitally and whether the songwriter is registered to a music group such as BMI. Royalties, also known as mailbox money, are paid over time, usually quarterly, and can be negotiated for higher rates.

Mechanical Royalties

The Reproduction copyright guarantees royalties to songwriters for every unit sold or manufactured in physical form, such as CD, LP and cassette tape. These royalties are paid by record companies or companies responsible for the manufacturing. In the U.S., the amount owed to the songwriter is $0.091 per reproduction of a song. Outside the U.S. the royalty rate is around 8 percent to 10 percent, but varies by country.

Analog Public Performance Royalties

Analog public performance royalties come from the Public Performance copyright, where the songwriter is owed money for each public performance of their songs. The U.S., however, is the only developed country without the right for performer compensation for radio broadcast. Under U.S. law, public performance occurs only when the music is played in a place open to the public with a substantial amount of people. AM and FM radio, network television, cable television, live gig venues, airplanes, retail stores, bars, restaurants, etc., generate and pay these royalties to songwriters. There is, however, no standard rate; Rates are negotiated between the Performing Rights Organization and the songwriter. The government can adjust unfair rates, though.

Digital Download Mechanical Royalties

Digital download royalties are generated from the Reproduction and Distribution copyrights. Royalties are paid for every song downloaded. Services such as iTunes, Amazon, Google, Spotify, Rhapsody and Xbox Music generate and pay these royalties to songwriters. The amount owed is $0.091 per song, just like the rate for physical mechanical royalties.

Streaming Mechanical Royalties

Streaming mechanical royalties are also generated from the Reproduction copyright. Royalties are owed whenever a songwriter's song is streamed through an interactive streaming service, where interactive refers to the user ability to choose songs, pause, rewind and forward and create playlists without restrictions. These services include Spotify, Xbox Music, Pandora, Last.FM, Rhapsody and more. The government-mandated royalty rate is 10.5 percent of the gross revenue minus the cost of public performance. The average rate per stream is about $0.005.

Registering Your Songs

Songwriters earn royalties when they register their songs with a group such as Broadcast Music, Inc. BMI-registered work is divided up into two shares -- one for the writer, the other for the publisher. All shares given to the writer must add up to 100 percent, though, and the same goes for the publishers. That means the shares in BMI registered songs add up to 200 percent. The wages depend on the negotiation agreement between the writer and the publisher, but writer rates cannot exceed 200 percent and publisher shares cannot exceed 100 percent.


Writer Bio

Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.


Songwriters are paid via 3 royalty streams:

  • Mechanical Royalty – A songwriter receives a mechanical royalty from the sale of a song on an album or a legal digital download. This rate is set by a Copyright Royalty Board made up of 3 judges who meet every 5 years to set rates. The original mechanical royalty was established in 1909 and set at 2 cents. Today, the current rate is 9.1 cents (typically split with co-writers and publishers).
  • Performance Royalty – A songwriter receives a performance royalty when their song is performed on terrestrial broadcast radio, in a live performance venue, or via online streaming services. In the United States, performance royalties are paid out through Performing Rights Organizations (ASCAP, BMI and SESAC) and are governed by consent decrees from WWII requiring the PROs to go to rate court to receive their rates from entities seeking to license the songs they represent.
  • Synch Fees – A songwriter receives a synch fee when his/her song is licensed for use to synchronize with video (i.e. television, movie, YouTube video). This royalty is freely negotiated in the marketplace and is typically split 50% to the writers and 50% to the artist and record label.

Songwriter royalties are the only income stream in America dictated by the Federal Government! Songwriters cannot increase their mechanical and performance royalty income even if the cost of doing business increases.

A songwriter may go years without receiving royalties. If they have a hit song, the Federal Government says that the songwriter must receive royalties immediately after they are collected. This means a songwriter might receive most of their income from a song in one calendar year – making that income subject to a disproportionately high income-tax levy. Other creators, such as book authors, can negotiate the terms of their payments over several years for tax purposes – but NOT songwriters! Songwriters were once allowed to average their incomes. This is no longer permitted.

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How Music Royalties Work in the Music Industry

Learn how music royalties work and how to get paid. This guide breaks down the complexities of music royalties and music copyrights in the music business.

Music Royalties

What Are Music Royalties?

Music royalties are payments that go to recording artists, songwriters, composers, publishers, and other copyright holders for the right to use their intellectual property. U.S. copyright laws give artists these exclusive rights to their work.

Music Royalties are also generated for various types of licensing and usage. The four main royalty types include mechanical, public performance, synchronization, and print music.

The music industry relies on these royalties as a primary form of payment to musicians. Contracts then define royalty agreements between the creator and the distributor.

What Are the Types of Music Royalties?

There are four different types of music royalties. Each type also has separate and distinct copyrights. The four sources of royalty revenue in the music industry are:

1. Mechanical Royalties

Mechanical royalties generate music income for the physical or digital reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works. This applies to all music formats such as vinyl, CD, cassette, digital downloads, and streaming services.

For example, record labels pay mechanical royalties to songwriters every time they press a CD of their music. A copyright owner can also collect mechanical royalties from a digital music distributor service if they are independent.

2. Public Performance Royalties

Public performance royalties generate music income for copyrighted works performed, recorded, played, or streamed in public. This includes terrestrial radio, television, bars, restaurants, clubs, live concerts, music streaming services, and anywhere else your music plays in public.

Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) collect performance royalties. PRO organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC negotiate licenses for public performances and monitor their usage. They also collect and distribute the royalties generated to the rights holders.

To collect public performance royalties, you must first register with a Performance Rights Organization. Be aware, the songwriter and publisher of the work split these royalties 50/50. Therefore, you must register as both the writer and publisher to receive 100% of the performance royalties.

3. Synchronization Royalties (Sync)

Synchronization royalties generate income for copyrighted music paired or ‘synced’ with visual media. Sync licenses grant the right to use copyrighted songs in films, television, commercials, video games, online streaming, advertisements, music videos, and any other visual media.

However, a synchronization license does not include the right to use an existing recording with audiovisual media such as a YouTube video. A licensee will need a master use license before using copyrighted music with a new audiovisual project. This is an agreement between the master recording owner, such as a record label, and the person seeking permission to use the recording.

Any use of protected music in an audiovisual project will need a master use license and a sync license. It doesn’t matter if it’s a full song or short sample. For example, you need both a master and sync agreement before syncing up the latest Jauz track with your wakeboarding video on YouTube.

4. Print Music Royalties

Print royalties are the least common form of payment a copyright holder receives. This royalty applies to copyrighted music transcribed to a print piece such as sheet music and then distributed.

Additionally, the copyright holder pays out these fees based on the number of copies made of the printed piece.

How Do Music Royalties Work?

Music royalties and copyrights is a complex subject. This guide outlines the basic rights and usages of musical compositions.

Types of Song Copyrights

Music copyrights have two components: master rights and publishing rights.

  • Master rights belong to the owner of a master sound recording. A master recording is an original song or sound used for reproduction and distribution. Master rights typically belong to either the artist(s), record label, recording studio, or any other party who financed the recording.
  • Publishing rights belong to the owner of the actual music composition. The publishing side of music refers to the notes, melodies, chords, rhythms, lyrics, and any other piece of original music.

What Are the Exclusive Rights of Copyright?

Copyright law grants six exclusive rights to control the use and distribution of copyrighted work. The copyright owner has exclusive rights to:

  • Reproduce and make copies of the original work. For example, a digital music download and physical formats like a CD or vinyl.
  • Prepare derivative works based on the original work. For example, a new original product that includes aspects of an existing song. This consists of a cover song, remix, or any altered version of an existing song.
  • Distribute copyrighted work to the public. For example, release the song through a music distributor, digital download, or record label.
  • Perform copyrighted work publicly. For example, live concerts or live performances in a public setting.
  • Play copyrighted work publicly. For example, through music streaming, satellite radio, music videos, FM radio, a TV show, etc.
  • Display the copyrighted work publicly. A public display means to show a visual copy of the work to others. For example, sheet music or photos from performance pieces.

The copyright owner can transfer these exclusive rights or parts. The two methods of transfer are licensing and assignment. Transfers must be in writing and signed by the copyright owner or an authorized agent.

Who Gets Music Royalties and Administers Them?

The following roles either receive or distribute royalties for copyrighted music:

1. Songwriters

Songwriters are those who write both the music and lyrics for a song. They receive either mechanical, performance, or sync royalties depending on the usage of their recordings.

If multiple songwriters contributed to a song, they would need a split sheet. A songwriter split sheet is a written agreement that identifies each contributor to a song and establishes ownership percentages amongst them. The agreed percentages determine how much each contributor will receive from the royalties generated by their music.

2. Publishers

The publisher is the person or company responsible for ensuring copyright holders receive payment for using their music. For example, a music publisher will obtain the songwriting copyright in exchange for royalty privileges.

A publishing company will also issue licenses for using music they represent. They also monitor them and collect licensing fees. These publishing royalties get split between the publisher and the songwriter.

3. Record Labels

Record labels market and distribute an artist’s original work. They often have the master rights to a recorded song, but not the publishing rights.

Record labels generate income from mechanical and public performance royalties. They issue contracts that allow them to exploit the recordings in exchange for royalty payments over a set length of time. The artist then receives a flat rate or percentage of these record label royalties.

4. Digital Music Distributor

Digital music distribution services help independent artists and labels get their music on major online music stores and streaming sites worldwide. These digital aggregators distribute music on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Beatport, Amazon, Google Play, Pandora, and other leading music platforms.

A digital music distributor collects mechanical royalties for every music purchase, download, or stream. They also collect public performance royalties generated from the public performance of your song, such as a live performance or radio broadcast.

5. Performing Artists

A performing artist is anyone who performs the songwriter’s original work. Performing artists do not have publishing rights unless they are also the songwriter.

Public performances of copyrighted music generate performance royalties for songwriters. These fees are often collected by a Performing Rights Organization such as ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC.

6. Performing Rights Organization (PRO)

A Performing Rights Organization collects public performance royalties and distributes them to the songwriter and music publisher. These organizations also monitor performances and broadcasting of registered music played in public.

The PROs in the United States include ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. You must register with one to collect performance royalties.

7. Mechanical Rights Agency

Mechanical rights agencies manage mechanical licensing rights for the music publisher. They also issue those rights to anyone reproducing and distributing copyrighted musical compositions.

These agencies often charge a set percentage of gross mechanical royalties collected for their services. In the U.S., the Harry Fox Agency is the group that issues mechanical licenses and collects royalties on behalf of the rights holder. A percentage of gross mechanical royalties collected are then paid to the publisher of the song or music composition.

8. Sync Licensing Agency

Sync licensing agencies acquire the rights from record labels and music publishers to issue licenses for syncing music with visual media. They also distribute royalties for sync licenses to whoever owns the master recording rights.

Music users typically work with a music supervisor for sync licensing. A music supervisor oversees all music-related aspects of television, film, advertising, video games, and other existing or emerging visual media platforms. They also serve as middlemen between the artists and the companies or directors licensing the music.

The Breakdown of Copyright and Licensing

Here is a brief breakdown of the copyright and licensing uses covered in this guide:

Every song has two copyrights: Composition rights and master rights. Music composition copyrights include the underlying music and any lyrics. Master copyrights include the reproduction and distribution of the master recording.

There’s a difference between licensing and royalties. A master license grants a music user permission to use intellectual property owned by someone else. Whereas royalties are the payments generated from using that intellectual property.

Artists issue exclusive rights to a publishing company for the use of their recordings in exchange for royalties. The music publisher may then release the recording or issue rights to either a record label or mechanical rights agency.

Additionally, artists can assign the master sound recording copyright to a record label. This agreement allows the label to reproduce, distribute, and license that recording in exchange for royalties.

Lastly, all parties involved in the production receive a percentage of royalty payments. The royalty amounts are often negotiated upfront and then defined in a legally binding agreement.


Various music copyright usages generate royalties. New royalty streams also emerge as the music industry and technology continue to evolve. They protect your music while also providing a revenue stream.

However, learning how to navigate the complexities of royalties can seem overwhelming. I hope this guide gave you a better understanding and the confidence to enter the music business.

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How Musicians Make Money — Or Don’t at All — in 2018

The buzziest word in music this year is the one that used to be the most utterly boring.

Copyright — ownership of songs and albums as creative works — is a riotous knot of rules and processes in the music industry, with the players much more numerous and entangled than the ordinary fan might think. But between Congress mulling over the much-anticipated Music Modernization Act, plagiarism battles between major songwriters raging and Wall Street scrutinizing Spotify’s lack of profitability as a public company, it’s helpful to have at least a basic understanding of music’s U.S. financial system in order to ponder its future.

To begin with: “Royalties” are the sums paid to rights-holders when their creations are sold, distributed, embedded in other media or monetized in any other way. Here’s Rolling Stone‘s guide to how musicians, songwriters and producers in the digital era actually get their hands on that money.

Recording and Writing Music …

For music listeners, a song is a song is a song. But for the music business, every individual song is split into two separate copyrights: composition (lyrics, melody) and sound recording (literally, the audio recording of the song).

Let’s start with the latter. Sound recording copyrights are owned by recording artists and their record labels. There are further distinctions between different types of sound recording licenses that generate royalties, such as performance rights (for a song’s play on formats such as streaming services, AM/FM radio, satellite radio and Internet radio) and reproduction rights (for sales of physical CDs or digital music files) and sync rights (for song use in film, television and other media) — but for the most part, what matters is that this copyright only belongs to artists and whatever label is behind them.

Those parties may have nothing to do with the people who write the lyrics and melody of the song and thus own the composition copyright. Sometimes they’re one and the same, in which case that lucky party gets double the cash flow. If they’re separate — as is the case with most pop songs and chart-topping hits — the sound recording copyright is split between artists and record labels, while the composition copyright is split between whatever songwriters and publishers are involved. In the case of Counting Crows’ “Big Yellow Taxi,” for example, the band takes sound recording royalties but Joni Mitchell, the song’s original writer, gets composition royalties.

For the majority of times when somebody listens to a song, both types of copyright kick in, generating two sets of royalties that are paid to the respective parties. Here’s a handy chart, put together by Citigroup’s research team in a recent report on music finances, that shows how both types of copyright generate and receive money:

… and Getting That Music Played

Let’s break that down by the most popular ways listeners actually contribute money to music’s creators: When someone buys a song from iTunes, Google Play or any other digital store, money from that sale is paid out to creators via both copyrights — composition and sound recording — with the rates depending on label size, distributor size and specific negotiations between the two as well as any other middle parties involved. (Sometimes labels work with agents that can license bigger catalogs all at once, saving time and trouble but wedging in an extra fee.)

The same dual-copyright payout essentially happens in the case of on-demand streaming, as well as when a song is played in businesses and retailers whether that’s grocery stores, hospitals or in the background of a startup’s website. The specific percentage payouts within these deals depends on the type of service and the negotiating power of all the names involved.

Putting music in film and television and commercials, a.k.a. “synchronization,” involves a license negotiated between content producers and publishers/songwriters. A fee is paid upfront, and royalties are also paid once the particular film or television show has been distributed and broadcast. Sync licenses can be lucrative and, because most filmmakers generally choose music based on their own whims rather than what’s at the top of the charts, also serve as a decent discovery platform for under-the-radar acts.

The process is further different for radio services, though, which typically use blanket, buffet-style licenses that determine payment rates on mass scale. And there’s an important distinction made in current copyright rules between broadcast radio (AM/FM) and Internet radio (Pandora, SiriusXM, other satellite radio and webcasters): Terrestrial radio broadcasters don’t have to pay sound recording copyright owners, while the second group does. That difference — which the music industry largely considers an unfair loophole — means that whenever a song is played over the airwaves, it only makes money for its writers, not artists. So whenever Counting Crows’ “Big Yellow Taxi” is played over AM or FM radio, only Joni Mitchell gets paid and the band gets nothing.

Performing Music Live

Live events are quickly shaping up to be the most lucrative space for musicians in the digital-music era, and for good reason: As listeners become inundated with cheap access to music provided by streaming services, dedicated music fans crave more intimate experiences with their favorite artists. That’s why tours are getting grander and music festivals are drawing ridiculous crowds even if their lineups are all the same. It’s also why concert and ticket companies like Live Nation are growing like crazy.

While album sales dwindle and streams may only pay out fractions of a cent at a time, live shows — be it tours, festivals or one-off concerts — are commanding some of the highest ticket prices ever.


In the heyday of pop and rock, musicians rarely wanted to be associated with corporate brands, but that’s changing with the rise of rap as America’s most popular genre. Brand partnerships offer artists the ability to sponsor or endorse a brand they might genuinely like, and get access to an additional revenue stream while they’re at it. Another way musicians find side money is from YouTube monetization, wherein YouTube videos share in the profit from the ads that come tagged onto them. Psy’s “Gangnam Style” reportedly made $2 million from 2 billion YouTube views. YouTube’s head of music Lyor Cohen wrote in a blog post last year that YouTube’s payout rate in the U.S. is as high as $3 per 1000 streams.

Fashion, Merchandising, and Other Direct Sells

Selling non-music products like perfumes, paraphernalia and clothing lines is an easy money-making strategy that artists have been taking advantage of for decades — but in the digital era, musicians can also get creative with their methods, expanding well beyond traditional merch tents at concerts and posters on a website.

Artists are also starting to ask for money from audiences directly — via crowdfunding or creating custom channels of communication with their fans — outside of social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter. The Voice star Angie Johnson raised roughly $36,000 on Kickstarter to record an upcoming album, for instance. More groups are releasing dedicated apps or subscription packages for their music or selling bespoke products like artist-curated festivals, email subscriptions and limited music releases. Pitbull has his own cruise.

So Then — Where’s All the Money?

All of the above is by no means a comprehensive list of ways that modern artists make money; keep in mind that it’s also now easier than ever to switch lanes and become a producer or writer for someone else’s music, as is the case with Bebe Rexha’s journey from songwriting to recording or American R&B hitmakers’ move to South Korea’s K-pop industry (which complicates the royalties splits a bit by involving copyright law from overseas, but nonetheless brings back significant money). The sheer number of different revenue streams available to musicians is higher than it’s ever been in the past.

And yet, the average modern artist is still strapped for cash.

By recent research estimates, U.S. musicians only take home one-tenth of national industry revenues. One reason for such a meager percentage is that streaming services — while reinvigorating the music industry at large — aren’t lucrative for artists unless they’re chart-topping names like Drake or Cardi B. According to one Spotify company filing, average per-stream payouts from the company are between $0.006 and $0.0084; numbers from Apple Music, YouTube Music, Deezer and other streaming services are comparable. That creates a winner-takes-all situation in which big artists nab millions and small ones can’t earn a living wage. It’s nothing new — one could argue that such were the dynamics in almost every era of music past — but the numbers are more dramatic than before.

Another reason: the sheer number of brokers, middlemen and other players in the music industry, as detailed above. And that’s not to mention the black box of royalties in the streaming era, a pit of unpaid money that hasn’t yet made its way to artists because of faulty metadata or bad communication amongst the various services involved in reporting the proper numbers; its worth has been estimated in the billions. “When you end up tracing all the dollars, around 10 percent of it gets captured by the artist. “That’s amazingly low,” Citigroup’s media, cable and satellite researcher Jason Bazinet tells Rolling Stone. “These young artists — you don’t even understand the gory details of the music industry or how the dollars flow. You’re really not going to make that much money. There’s an unbelievable amount of leakage through the whole business.”

Good news: The music industry has now accepted streaming as its revenue-leader and is poised to adapt around that, with many analysts and experts expecting that the business will streamline itself — with rewrites of law, new royalties negotiations, mergers, acquisitions and consolidations — into something leaner and, finally, more lucrative for musicians. Bad news: No one knows when that will be.


Royalties song

All you need to know about music royalties

Having original songs is a key factor to creating your own voice and style as an artist. Therefore, there are multiple artists who write original music for themselves or for other people. Regardless of whether you are a singer-songwriter selling songs to other artists or performing your own original music, knowing what money is being made by this music is essential. These payments are referred to as ‘royalties’; therefore, Groover wants to help out and guide you through the breakdown of a song and its royalties.

1. What are royalties?

In order to use someone else’s work you need to pay for the rights to use it, and those payments are referred to as royalties. Essentially, they are payments made to the owners of a work by people who want to use that work whether that be under a copyright, trademark or patent (all referred to as Intellectual Property). It is important to note that these royalties are payments made to the right’s owners of the Intellectual Property at hand therefore, for one to be paid, they need to be listed as one of the owners of this work: no rights or ownership, means no money. When dealing with music royalties, we are dealing with the Copyright of a song.

| Check out: Music Rights and how do they work?

2. Song and Royalty Breakdown

Before getting into the different types of royalties, I think it’s important to dissect what royalties we are dealing with and where they come from: a song’s copyright. Every song has two copyrights associated with it; one for the composition which, is also referred to as the publishing side of the copyright, and another for the recording itself, also known as the master. The following graph details the royalty breakdown of the song and how they are shared.

When dealing with the composition or publishing portion of a copyright there are two main types of royalties: Public Performance and Mechanical. All of the money collected from the publishing portion of a song is split between the songwriter(s) and the publisher. On the other hand, when dealing with the song recording or master of a song, we deal with Digital Performance and Master Recording Royalties. These are distributed amongst the recording artist(s) and the record label.

The following guide separates the songwriter and the recording artist as two separate entities because this is how most collection organizations classify the different shares. However, if you are both the songwriter and the recording artist of a song, take into account that you would be receiving royalties from both the composition and the master of your song.

Royalty Breakdown

Royalty Breakdown

| Check out: A clear guide to avoid underselling your music

3. Public Performance Royalties

Public Performance Royalties are paid by PROs (Performing Rights Organizations) to songwriters and publishers for the use of public broadcasting of their music. In order for artists to broadcast original or covered music, they must pay a blanket license fee to a PRO. However, this also refers to radios, TV stations, live venues, restaurants, stores, etc. For example, every time that Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You plays on the radio, Dolly Parton along with the publishers of that song will receive a cut from that play. Dolly Parton receives her share because she is the originalsongwriter of the song, and because performance royalties are under the composition copyright of the song, the share of performance royalties goes to the songwriter and the publisher (if there is a publishing deal at play).

4. Mechanical Royalties

The Mechanical Royalty is the second half of the copyright associate with the composition of the song.  A mechanical royalty is a payment owed to the songwriter whenever a copy of their music is made. For example, if a record label or some sort of retailer that sells music (CDs, streams, digital downloads, etc) wants to use an original song, they need pay the artist in order to acquire a mechanical license. These payments are then collected by Collection Agencies or Mechanical Rights Organizations and then they pay the artist a lump-sum of these royalties after a certain amount of time (usually every 6 months). However, some countries deal with mechanical royalties differently, and they can also be negotiated within terms of contracts with bands, labels, publishers, etc.

All in all, like performance royalties, mechanical royalties go to the songwriter(s). However, a songwriter may have to share these royalties with other members of the band or a producer that may have been involved in the writing process (all detailed under the copyright of a song). If there is a publishing deal at play, before paying out the shares owed to the songwriter, the publisher will receive a percentage (also known as recoupment) of the mechanical royalties as well.

5. Digital Performance Royalties

Digital Performance Royalties are royalties that non-interactive digital streaming services pay to the recording artist (not the songwriter) each time their sound recording is used. The big difference here between the digital performance and the public performance royalty is the ‘non-interactive’ portion of the digital stream. For example, services like Spotify or Apple Music will pay public performance royalties to the songwriter versus, services like Pandora or Sirius XM will pay digital performance royalties to the label and recording artist. The difference here is that Spotify and Apply Music users are technically free to play whatever music they choose however, ‘non-interactive’ digital streaming services remove that power of choice from the user and the music they hear is solely chosen by an algorithm.

6. Master Recording Royalties

Master Recording or Master-Generated Royalties are exactly what the name entails. They are essentially the payment that recording artists and labels earn when the sound recording is streamed, downloaded, or physically bought. These royalties are collected by distributors from record stores and streaming platforms, and distributed back to the label where they then collect the percentage owed to them and the rest is given to the recording artist. If an artist is not associated with a label, then artists collect the money directly from the distributor.

| Check out: iMusician, the Digital Music Distributor to sell, manage and monetize your music

7. Synchronization Royalties

You may have noticed that this type of royalty is not mentioned in the flow chart above. That is because it is one of the few that are paid to the songwriter and recording artist equally; however, they are also one of the most common types of royalty thus, worth mentioning in this Groover guide. Video Producers must get permission (a sync license) to use original music that would be put to any kind of moving image. This sync license is negotiated directly with the publisher (if there is one) and is completely subjective to the negotiated terms. Therefore, there are no set rates when dealing with sync royalties. They are paid to both the songwriter and recording artist for the use of their recording in an audio-visual production; this includes movies, tv shows, advertisements, video games, etc.


In conclusion, there are many ways that original music can make money. However, as seen above, there are many intermediaries that come into play when it comes to the distribution of that money; therefore, it is important to know as an artist where and how you should be making money. Don’t hesitate to use Groover as tool! Groover has hundreds of industry professionals that are eager to help and guide you through your journey as well as, numerous articles to guide you through any queries that you may have.

| Check out: How to use Groover to promote your music with success?

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