YES YOU CAN! Many artist release a ton of music everyday on Soundcloud, YouTube, Reverbation, Facebook and the list goes on and on. In more recent years some of these websites are involved in Artists receiving royalties as well. Did you know that when someone plays your music in Public you are eligible to receive a royalty for that? This means when your music is played in a store, elevator, performed publicly or used in any form you should be getting paid. But, you can't get paid if you do not register your music!
Now many of you I know are not signed to a Major Record Label. So since this is the case it is up to you to copyright and register your music so you can begin receiving the royalties you deserve. I'm here to help you with this. First I'll explain what a royalty is. A royalty is a sum of money paid to a patentee for the use of a patent or to an author or composer for each copy of a book sold or for each public performance of a work. And you may want to recognize that since many people today stream music more than anything there is also a royalty that covers getting paid when your music is listened to on certain websites like Spotify, iHeart Radio, Pandora and other internet radio stations. Here are some things you should know before assuming you will receive a royalty check.
Types of Royalties:
Mechanical: Mechanical royalties are paid upon physical reproduction of an artist’s work. For example, when a record company produces records they need to pay royalties every time a single copy is reproduced. This is most often negotiated on the front end of contract between a music publisher and record label. These royalties apply to any physical format of music, including vinyl, cassette, and CD productions.
Public Performance: Public performance royalties are the most wide-reaching, common form of royalties that are issued to musicians. By definition, public performances pertain to any performance of copyrighted material. This can include, but is not limited to, airing music on radio, live performances, performances recorded for film or television, and playing copyrighted work over stereos in public spaces. Most often performance royalties are paid to performance rights organizations (PROs) such as BMI or ASCAP (you can learn more about PROs here). The PROs collect the royalties and pay them out to the artists that have signed with them as representation, after taking a cut for operating costs.
Synchronization (Sync): Sync royalties are paid to copyrighted music that is paired with visual media of any kind, including films, commercials, and online/streaming video and advertisements. These royalties are often negotiated on the front end of the licensing process, and are paid based on how many times the song will be used, and for which audience. Musicbed negotiates the percentage that an artists will be paid and issues royalties from sync licenses directly to the artist.
Print Music: Print royalties are the simplest, and least common, form of payment that is paid to an artist. This type of royalty applies to copyrighted music that is transcribed to a print piece, like sheet music, and then distributed. Royalties are paid to the copyright holder based on the amount of copies made for the printed piece
Need to Know
1. In order to receive a royalty check you music be registered with a Performance Rights Organization.
2. The person or company using the music must be paying the PRO for your music so your PRO can pay you for them using the music.
Many Artists today submit music to Independent Radio Stations and there is nothing wrong with this at all but please be aware that some of these Independent Radio Stations are not paying the royalty fees and you will not be paid for them playing your music. It is best to research the Internet Station you are submitting to to find out if you will be receiving royalties and you should also make sure that all of your business is in order as well. I am not at all staying stop submitting your music to free opportunities or stop anything that you are doing. I am only educating on the process of how to properly share your music so that you are protected and your music is not stolen.