Royalty Streams Explained: Understanding Different Types of Music Royalties” – Breaking down the various types of music royalties, such as mechanical royalties, performance royalties, and sync royalties, and how they are earned and distributed

Music royalties provide artists, songwriters and other music rights holders with payment for their work. This sometimes tricky topic involves numerous stakeholders, determining how royalty payments will be shared amongst those involved in your music. w they are earned and distributed

What are music royalties?

Essentially, royalties are the payments generated from the usage of your songs. When recordings get played and streamed – or performed or covered – a song’s rights holders receive payments. There are a few different ways you can monetise these song rights, with the four main types of royalty being mechanical, public performance, print music, and sync royalties. Each royalty stream is dependent on the type of copyright it is associated with, with every song being attached to two different types of copyright:

Master Rights – covering the original sound recording.

Publishing Rights – protecting the lyrics and melody of a song

Recording artists and songwriters

Master Rights

Recording artists are the ones who record the song themselves. They own the master rights to a song and will receive money from:

Digital sales (streaming & download royalties)

Physical sales

Neighbouring rights royalties

If you are undr a record label it will take ownership of the master rights of your songs, administering earnt royalties and forwarding a share to you.

Publishing rights owners will receive money from:

Mechanical royalties In either case, any time a song is sold in any format, or streamed or downloaded, a royalty is due.( Sales/Streaming)

Performing royalties – including public performances, over the radio, in restaurants/bars, live performances,

Sync licensing fees Music is often licensed for placement in TV shows, films, ads, videogames, and so on.

How do music royalty payments work? Create your music

Distribute your music ,Your music is played – either digitally or physically, oyalties are collected and spread out amongst rights holders. Rights holders get paid‍ as soon as a user has played 30 seconds or more of your tracks digitally on streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music, royalty money will be generated. The platform will collect this money, take their share, and distribute a large proportion back to your distributor.

And lastly there is Print music royalties

The least common type of royalty, print music royalties are pretty much what you’d expect them to be – they’re royalties that come from sheet music sales.

These royalties are usually split between songwriters and publishers. Naturally, this type of royalty applies only to songwriters who release their songs as sheet music.

Print music royalties are typically very small compared to other music revenue streams, as most music is obviously digital these days, but they do still exist. If you’re a composer or  musician who creates full-ensemble or concert music, then this type of royalty payment is probably relevant to you.

Getting paid for your music isn’t quite as straightforward as your standard 9-5, but there are several effective ways for you to forge a good living as a musician. To do this however, you’ll have to make sure you’re getting the most out of your work and collecting all of your owed royalties.