Music royalties are generated by the licensing of copyrighted music. There are two main types of music royalties:

  1. Mechanical Royalties – payments to songwriters and artists when a music work is licensed (like CD, tape or vinyl) and when music is streamed “on-demand”. Songwriting mechanical royalties are set by the government through what’s called a compulsory license.
  2. Performance Royalties – The fees music users pay when music is performed publicly. The use of music over radio, in a restaurant or bar, or via a streaming radio like Pandora is considered a public performance.
  3. Do I need to join a Performance Rights Organization?

    If you’re an artist or in a group that is recording original music intended to be played on the radio, streamed, sold, ect absolutely.

    Which Performance Rights Organization should I join?

    We are members of ASCAP and can highly recommend them. They are the only Performance Rights Organization in the USA owned and governed by it’s members. Another added benefit is that ASCAP sends out an industry newsletter with great articles for musicians and creators.

    What about YOUTUBE Royalties?

    Youtube Royalties are paid through Google Adsense on your own videos and some Labels as well as VEVO have deals with Youtube that are better than what the average person can achieve. Another important Royalty Agency is Audiam Audiam finds videos on YouTube using your compositions without a license, authorizes YouTube to place ads on them and gets you back your percentage of the revenue. There is quite a bit of unlicensed use on youtube and if you have fans, then your song(s) might end up on someone’s video without a license.