Performance royalties

Posted: March 4th, 2008 | Category: Songwriting Courses

What makes a songwriter rich? Of course it is the song royalties earned. Songwriting is one of the world’s most difficult profession because there are no assurances of steady monthly income. But, once they write even a single hit song, the income is enough to lived on by a lifetime. Plus, it is not a dayjob but a purely artistic profession wherein you can do anything you want in your life. Enjoying life while the song works for you by earning royalties. A songwriter is an entrepreneur with songs as an asset. It is why so important to know what are the different forms of songwriter income.

Song royalties are payment for the use of copyright. It is that simple. When you write a song and someone will use the song commercially.They have to pay royalties. If songs are used by any other person to earn money, it is a commercial use of the song. For example, if your songs are played in a restaurant because it sounds so comfortable and cool. People will get enjoyed eating at the restaurant because of the music. The owner then of that restaurant will pay you some royalties for the use of your song.

Song royalties are the business side of a songwriter. The artistic side is the creativity in writing songs. But to succeed in music business, extensive knowledge of song royalties is very important.

Take note you cannot claim royalties if you do not own the copyright of the songs. Only the creator of the work can claim royalties.

Songwriter takes many forms. The most common ones are:
1. Performance royalties
2. Mechanical Royalties
3. Synchronization Royalties

Let us discuss now performance royalties in detail:

Performance Royalties are forms of royalties payment for the performance of the song. Performance event could happen in many forms also such as:
1. Song performed/played on radio.

Song played on radio

2. Song performed by other artist around the globe.

Song performed by artist

3. Song performed in clubs and bars.

Song performend in live venues

4. Song performed in movie theatres soundtrack.
Movie Theatres

5. Song played on television shows.

Television

6. Any type of song performance in any business establishment used in making profit.

It is why a single hit song even at the US Top 20 can make around 500,000 dollars in performance royalties because of very wide income sources.

The songwriter alone cannot monitor all of those that performs the song worldwide. Instead, he takes advantage of songwriter associations such as ASCAP to claim the royalties in his behalf. These are called “performing right societies” for the songwriters. The biggest ones are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.

To be a member of performance right societies such as ASCAP is free. If you are serious of earning performance royalty income, joined now any of these societies: ASCAP , BMI , SESAC

Also to be a member, one must have songs to be published or has some working songs already. If still don’t have, read more about this site to learn how to make your own songs and get ready for it.

Performance royalties are considered to be the longest sustaining form of income for songwriters. It is because, a life of a hit song may last for many years. This means it will still be played on radios, bars and even as soundtrack on televisions. It is why so important to write quality songs to last for a long time.

Next page, I will discuss another form of song royalty which is called “Mechanical Royalties”.


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