Everything You Need to Know About Music Royalties

  • What are Performance Royalties?

    Performing royalties are the fees paid to songwriters, composers, and music publishers when their music is performed or broadcast publicly. This can include live performances, radio broadcasts, streaming services, and more.

    Performing royalties are collected by Performing Rights Organizations (PROs), which are non-profit organizations that license the public performance of music on behalf of their members. In the United States, the three major PROs are ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

    PROs collect royalties from businesses that use music publicly, such as radio stations, restaurants, and bars. They also collect royalties from streaming services, such as Spotify and Apple Music. Once the royalties are collected, the PROs distribute them to their members based on how often their music is performed.

    Performing royalties are an important source of income for songwriters and composers. They can range from a few cents to several dollars per performance, depending on the type of performance and the size of the audience.

    Here are some examples of when performing royalties are paid:

    • When a song is played on the radio
    • When a song is performed at a live concert
    • When a song is streamed on a streaming service
    • When a song is used in a movie or TV show
    • When a song is played in a restaurant, bar, or other public place

    Performing royalties are typically split between the songwriter and the music publisher. The songwriter typically receives a larger share of the royalties, as they are the creator of the composition. The music publisher typically receives a smaller share of the royalties, as they help to promote and distribute the composition.