Tag Archive: Royalties

  1. An Introduction to the Music Industry – Part 2

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    Catch up on part 1 here and find out how you can make money from the rights you own.

    An Introduction to the Music Industry - Part 2

    Live Performance

    Unlike copyright, which can be harder to understand, the are two other forms of revenue streams that artists will use. These two forms of making money are Live Performance and Fan Relationship.

    To make money from Live Performance is to simply monetise live performances in front of people. However, ticket income is not the only stream of revenue within the live performance setting, for instance money can be made from:

    • Tickets
    • Ticket commissions
    • Ticket resale mark-ups
    • Food and drink
    • Other services – i.e. cloak room, parking, VIP.
    • Sponsorships – the live sector has the most revenue wth brands (i.e. O2, branded beers at gigs).

    As a an artist’s fan base grows and have greater success and exposure, the live setting will change (naturally getting bigger). Here are the steps that most artists and bands traditionally follow as their live setting changes:

    1. Self promoted gigs, pay to play.
    2. ‘Gig’ or ‘Club’ nights, festival new bands stages.
    3. Club and pub venue touring, festival stages.
    4. Theatre venue, festival main stages – this is the stage where artists will start to make ‘real’ money.
    5. Arena touring, potentially headline slots at festivals
    6. Stadium touring, headlining festivals.

    Fan Relationship

    In the digital age, as record sales diminish and the popularity of streaming services have drastically increased, using a fanbase as a source of revenue has become a major focus for new bands and artists. With the use of social media, artists now have a way of communicating with their fanbase and to get to know them better. This means that artists can find out what the core fans want, and consequently, can find out what to sell to them.

    As an artist, once you have an engaged, growing fanbase, you can start to sell them products and services, such as:

    • A subscription service (i.e. an online fan club)
    • Signed records
    • Deluxe records (with extra content such as, B-sides, demos, acoustic versions etc.)
    • Premium merchandise

    Using the combination of you (the artist), your music and your live shows, you can sell content, experiences and a relationship to your fanbase. In addition, if a sizeable fanbase is created, brands and companies may want to start a partnership with the artistic order to reach that audience, as well as exposing you to their customers.

    These three revenue streams are all built on and rely upon building a group of core fans. To provide them with content, different experiences and an ongoing, engaging relationship, artists will usually have to depend on creating partnerships with other roles within the music industry.

  2. Music Rights Explained

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    Music rights can be a very tricky area to understand, with a crazy number of acronyms and collecting societies to remember. In this blog, we will explain a bit about what the PRS (Performing Rights Society) and MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) do for songwriters with publishing royalties, and what PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) do for performers and recording licenses.

    Music Rights Explained

     

    PRS and MCPS

    The PRS are a UK collecting society for songwriters and composers. When using a song for publishing there are 2 different components to the song that collecting societies have to consider.

    These are the songwriters royalties and the recording artists royalties.

    PRS represent the writers, composers and publishers of a piece of music whenever it is played in public. Songwriters can sign up with the PRS who then add your content to their database, and collect any performance royalties on your behalf. This includes whenever a track you wrote is publicly performed, such as in radio, TV, film and video games. This is done by adding a special code called an ISWC to the song that allows PRS to keep track of where the music is played. If you are a writer credited on a track then you will be entitled to publishing royalties through PRS.

    PRS for Music has blanket licenses in place with UK terrestrial TV networks for the use of music on their channels. Any track that is registered with PRS for Music can be used by the TV networks without the need to seek individual clearance. There are no blanket licenses in place in the US, or elsewhere.

    MCPS are another collection society that work to collect royalties on behalf of writers, composers and publishers of a piece of music whenever it is reproduced. Whereas the royalties from PRS are called performance royalties, MCPS collect what is known as a mechanical royalty. These kinds of royalty are made from downloads, streaming and physical sales of music. In order to collect mechanical royalties, you must have a membership with MCPS, who can then send information about your mechanical royalties to PRS. PRS for Music can pay both the mechanical and performance royalties to writers, composers and publishers if you are signed up to both organisations, which means you can collect all your royalties from one place.

    PPL

    PPL are a performance rights organisation that deal with collecting royalties for the performing artists on a track. Rather than PRS who represent songwriters and composers, PPL represent the recording artists and the record label, collecting royalties for the use of their recorded music publicly. If a retail shop wishes to play music in their store, they must buy a license from both the PRS and PPL as they are using the songwriters work as well as the performers work. Any situation in which the recorded music is used would mean paying for a PPL license.

    Income Streams

    It is important to know your right and where you can earn additional royalties from.

    Performing Rights - when music is played in public. Collected by PRS.

    Mechanical Rights - when music is reproduced. You must be a member of MCPS, but the royalty can be paid through PRS.

    Synchronisation - when music is placed with visual images. Can be a deal with a publisher or specific sync companies.

    Print Rights - when sheet music is sold or lyrics are printed. These can be both in physical and digital formats.

  3. All you Need to Know About Releasing a Cover Song

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    If you are planning on releasing a release of cover songs there are a few things you need to consider before submitting to us.

    All you Need to Know About Releasing a Cover Song

    Do I need a license to release globally?

    To distribute your release to the United States you will need to obtain a Harry Fox license. If you do not have this license you cannot release in the US. For the rest of the world you do not need a license. If you would like to omit the United States from you release but would like to release everywhere else please enter in the ISO code: “US” in the ‘Licensed territories to exclude’ field.

    Your release will then be distributed everywhere except the United states. All other territories are dealt with by the stores at the point of sale (stores pay the collection societies from cut of sales).

    You should make every effort to ensure that your cover of the chosen song is not too similar to the original as these will not be accepted by certain stores; try to make the song your own.

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    Who do I need to credit?

    When releasing covers you must credit the original songwriters and the publishers. You can do this by entering them in the ‘Composers’ and ‘Publisher’ fields on your release.

    You should always try to get permission from the original publisher.

    You must not mention the original artist in the track or release title. Phrases such as “originally performed by” or “in the style of” should also not be used.

    What happens about my royalties?

    Royalties for cover songs are processed in the same way as usual. The amount you have earned will appear on the Client Zone in the normal way, however the PRS cut will have already been taken at the point of sale.