Tag Archive: ascap

Songwriting is more than a melody. It’s more than a few chords and words. Songwriting is more than stories about losing and finding love, and it’s more than whatever gets you through the night. Songs are the catalyst that have brought people together across the globe for generations. Songs and those who craft them are meant to ignore, cross and obliterate barriers – bridging the gaps we’ve created over the centuries: race…religion…language…nationality…

Major Record Labels Drive Net RoyaltiesYou might think internet radio royalty rates are not that interesting, but the current laws and rates drastically affect whether online radio companies like Pandora, Last.fm or AOL Music are able to operate profitably, and ultimately survive.  Considering they’re some of the fastest growing websites on the net, it would seem that their survival would be very important to a lot of people.

Online radio royalty rates can also largely affect the music these companies play, and the amount of commercials, fees and other undesirable aspects of the experience they have to bother you with.  If some music is cheaper to license than others, they may choose to play music that is more cost effective to them.  And, if rates are too high, you can expect more commercials, subscription fees or ads to offset those costs.

Royalties Add UpIn the past few articles I talked about how to license music. In this article I’d like to talk about the next step, how to collect your royalties.

How Do Royalties Work?

Royalties work differently than the upfront license fee. Royalties are payed for the public performance of music, either live or as a sound recording. This includes music on television, radio, internet, concert halls, clubs, stores, elevators, and more. The royalties rates vary and depend on the type of use of the music.


Online Radio RoyaltiesThere are a few different types of radio royalties.  There are royalties that are tracked through ASCAP and BMI, which cover songwriting and publishing fees.  Everybody who broadcasts a song is required to pay these fees.  Then, there are the performing rights royalties tracked through SoundExchange:

“SoundExchange is a non-profit performance rights organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as SIRIUS XM), internet radio, cable TV music channels and similar platforms for streaming sound recordings.  The Copyright Royalty Board, which is appointed by The U.S. Library of Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the sole entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties on behalf of featured recording artists, master rights owners (like record labels), and independent artists who record and own their masters.”