Making Money:

How do I get paid from record sales?

Payments from record sales are called mechanical royalties and are paid by the record company to the publisher of the song through the Harry Fox Agency. The royalty rate is set by congress (the "statutory rate") and is at this writing set at 8 cents per song. Therefore if you had one song that was written and published solely by you on a million selling album, you would earn $80,000 in mechanical royalties.

How do I get paid from radio airplay?

Performance royalties are collected from radio and TV broadcasters, etc. by the Performing rights organizations ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC in the United States (each country has its own P.R.O.). The P.R.O.s distribute these payments to their member songwriters and publishers based on formulas that calculate how many people have been exposed to the song. A number one pop single might earn as much as a million dollars in performance royalties in its biggest year.

You may also make money when videos or DVDs that are sold, depending on the nature of your original license agreement.

Songwriters earn money in two ways: a) When records are sold and b) when their songs are played on radio, TV and other public areas (restaurants, concerts, etc).

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Copyright 2008 Joey Welz
Last modified: April 07, 2008