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Publishing and Royalties

Publishing is the most valuable asset that artists own. Look at publishing as real estate: when you create a song, you are the owner of that property. You may sell the property, but you never give it away. If someone wants to use your property, then they must pay you rent for the use of it. The moment you create lyrics or music, you are the owner of that composition.

The four types of publishing royalties:

  1. Performance royalties
  2. Mechanical royalties
  3. Synchronization fees
  4. Print royalties

Performance Royalties are the royalties that artists receive for live or broadcast music.  Anyone who broadcasts music, recorded, live, or in video form, has to pay a fee to use the licensed music. Examples would be radio stations, TV or cable stations, a nightclub with live shows, concert halls, airlines, or a jukebox at a local bar. In order to comply with U.S. copyright law, any establishment that plays copyrighted music is legally required to secure permission to use it.

Mechanical Royalties are paid by the record label from the sale of CDs, records, and online digital sales.

Synchronization Royalties refer to music is used in a timed synchronization with visual images. This includes music used in film, TV and cable, commercials, soundtracks, and video games. When a film or television show uses or reuses (reruns) music in the background or prominently, they have to pay a fee to the owner of the music.  The fees vary widely with the usage and importance of the song. 

Print Royalties are for sheet music, where a royalty is paid to the publisher for the use, and are roughly 20% of the retail price of a single song-sheet.

Call 1.877.252.2750 or email us to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.

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