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Hey everyone! Ok we're on post two of our Music Publishing blog series. We hope you learned a bit from Part I, Mechanical Royalties. I'm hoping to keep these posts a bit shorter so that they are easier to digest, however I think we can squeeze in a few types of royalties in this post. So today we are going to talk about performance royalties, sync royalties, and print royalties, what they are, show some examples, and talk about how to collect these royalties.
Simply put, the songwriter and the publisher of a particular song are owed a performance royalty every time that song is "broadcast" or "performed" in public.
Played on internet radio
Played on terrestrial radio (FM and AM radio)
Played on online streaming services
Performed at live venues or clubs. This includes performances by yourself, by a cover band, or even by a DJ
These royalties are collected through a Performing Rights Organization, otherwise known as PROS. As a songwriter, you'll need to register your works with one of the PROS in your country, and they will collect your performance royalties for you.
Here are the main ones in the United States and Canada:
Sync royalties are earned when the songwriter and publishers works are synchronized with visual media of any kind. This is typically used for TV shows and movies, but it does extend into any visual element. The trend as of late has been for companies to buyout all rights to the works, which results in a large upfront payment, however no royalty payments during the use.
Played in a movie
Played during a commercial
Played in advertisements
Played in online video streams
Played in video games
Sync royalties are also collected through PROS, but some agencies that collect mechanicals will also collect sync royalties, such as the Harry Fox Agency in the United States. So again, these are the agencies you'll want to look into:
Print royalties are the least common type of royalties, however they are still worth mentioning. So, whenever your compositions are transcribed and printed, you are entitled to a print royalty. The amount of royalties you receive is very simply based on the number of printed copies.
Print royalties are typically paid out by the printer of the sheet music to whoever licensed the works. So this one is a case by case basis.
Ok that's it for this post, thanks for reading! Like I said, we want to keep these nice and simple so that it makes the topic easier to digest. As I suggested in our last post, there are a few amazing books on this topic that I highly recommend you read if you're going to take publishing seriously:
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