Updated: Mar 23
Written by: Rusheed "Portiay" Nash
Music royalties are payments made to songwriters, composers, and other rights holders for the use of their music. There are several different types of music royalties, and various organizations and companies that track and collect them. Here are 4 types of music royalties and the organizations and companies that handle them:
This type of royalty is generated when music is sold or streamed online. The most common digital distribution companies include Distrokid.com, Tuncore, CDBaby, and Unitedmasters just to name a few. These companies track the number of downloads or streams of a song or album, and then pay out royalties to you based on the number of times the song has been streamed.
See previous article: https://www.legendarymix.com/post/5-of-the-top-music-distributors-for-your-next-release
Performing Rights Organizations / PRO:
Performing rights organizations (PROs) such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, represent songwriters and composers by tracking the use of their music in public performances and collecting royalties for that use. They monitor the use of music in a wide range of settings, including live concerts, on television and radio, in bars and restaurants, and on streaming services. They then distribute the royalties they collect to their members, which includes songwriters, composers and publishers.
Sound Exchange is an organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for sound recordings. It collects royalties when sound recordings are streamed on digital radio services like Pandora or Sirius XM, and then distributes those royalties to (you) the rights holders of the sound recordings, which include performers, recording companies, and other rights holders.
Songtrust is a company that helps songwriters, composers, and other rights holders track their royalties and manage their rights. It collects royalties from various sources, including streaming services and PROs, and then distributes those royalties back to you. It also provides other services such as copyright registration, royalty statements and performance tracking.
It's important to note that there are other organization, companies, and services that help artists in tracking and collecting royalties. These are just a few examples. Understanding the different types of royalties and the organizations and companies that handle them can help you ensure that you receive the royalties that are owed.