The music industry is a vast expanse, built like a machine with various things combined together to make it function smoothly. One might think that a music artist has to only create music, but little does he know that creating music is not enough in today’s world. One has to be aware of how the industry works, from copyrights, royalties, production to music distribution, these various aspects all are part of the journey to becoming a successful artist. So today, we are going to explain how music royalties work, what they exactly do, and how many types of royalties are there. This article is going to explain all that and make sure you have the essential knowledge before starting out on your music career.
What are Music Royalties?
Music royalties are the payments that are received by recording artists, songwriters, composers, publishers, and other copyright holders reciprocally for the licensed use of their original music. This way, artists generate revenue from their music. Music royalties are procured through several different types of licensed usage. In general, if anyone uses your music commercially, then they need to pay you a fee which is named as a royalty.
There are various organizations that manage and collect royalties for artists and pay them. The royalties are paid by various bodies like T.V channels, radio stations, music streaming platforms, etc., for the licensed usage of the artist’s music. But to grant the licensed usage of your music, you ought to be the copyright owner. So, now we will explain the different types of music royalties.
- Mechanical Royalties
Mechanical royalties are generated and paid to the artist whenever their copyrighted composition is reproduced/sold or distributed in either physical form like a CD or digital mode.
- Music Performance Royalties
Music performance royalties are generated and paid to the artist whenever their copyrighted composition is played, performed, or streamed in public. This includes radio, television, bars, restaurants, clubs, live concerts, music streaming services, and anywhere else your music plays in public.
- Synchronization Royalties
Synchronization royalties are generated and paid to the artist when their copyrighted music is paired or ‘synced’ with visual media. Sync licenses grant the right to use copyrighted music in films, T.V, commercials, video games, online streaming, advertisements, music videos, and any other visual media.
- Print Music Royalties
Print music royalties are generated and paid to the artist when their copyrighted music is transcribed to a print piece physically such as sheet music and then distributed. This is the least common type of royalty.
So, now that you know what music royalties are and you understand their different types, you can go ahead and confidently begin your exciting new music career. While most of this stuff will be handled by your music publisher, it is always an advantage to know and understand what goes through behind the scenes and how everything functions. While there are various other aspects in the music industry, music royalties are one such aspect that you should be always aware of.