Music Business

Quick Biz Tip: Songwriter Performance Royalties 101

by Clay Mills
Apr 7, 2017

Songwriter performance royalties account for roughly 35% of a writers/publishers income.

What is a performance royalty?

Simply put: A songwriter performance royalty is owed to the writers and publishers of a particular song whenever that composition is ‰broadcast‰ or performed ‰in public.‰ This includes: Airplay on terrestrial and satellite radio (Sirius, XM, etc) Plays on internet radio. Plays on music streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, etc) Network & Cable TV usage. Performances in Live music venues. (Bars, Stadiums, etc)

Remember, all these services and venues benefit from your music and must pay a fee to use it. (It varies from service to service). Therefore, you deserve to be compensated for your part in their success.

All these performance royalties are then collected by a Performing Rights Organization (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) and payed out to songwriters and publishers.

Therefore, if you have music being performed it’s your job to join one of the PRO’s and make sure you are collecting the songwriter performance royalties owed to you!

Write on! ~CM

Clay Mills

Clay Mills

Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter, producer, and performer. He is the co-founder of SongTown and has 2 Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio and “Heaven Heartache” by Trisha Yearwood. Clay is also the co-author of Mastering Melody Writing and The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing.


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