You signed up for BMI, ASCAP or SESAC. You’re all set to collect all of the royalties coming your way! Not so fast. There may be royalties that you’re missing out on. These performing rights organizations only pay you for the publishing rights that you’re owed.
In order to collect ALL of the royalties you’re owed, you either need to have a publishing rights administrator working on your behalf or spend hundreds to thousands of hours each year tracking down this money yourself (in every corner of the globe); oh, and you’ll also need to speak dozens of languages and be absolutely psyched about paperwork. Do you really have the time or money for that? We didn’t think so.
Here is what you are failing to collect as an independent musician.
Those CDs and downloads you’re selling fall under the mechanical royalties for a physical product. Every time a song you’ve written appears on an album that is manufactured for sale, you’re owed a mechanical royalty. If you’re releasing your own material, you’re essentially paying this royalty to yourself. But if other artists cover your songs, are you set up to get paid?
Most artists have their music set up on Spotify, but you are missing out on all of the royalties that you are owed if you are only relying on BMI or ASCAP. There is actually a small performance royalty that you are leaving behind. I’m pretty sure that when you are supporting your own love for music, every penny adds up.
CDBaby has been a great tool to get your music out there across the world. Anyone at any time any where in the universe can download your music from Amazon or iTunes (just to name the front runners). You are actually owed yet another 9% on international download sales that are just sitting in your mechanical royalty fund. So yeah, people can listen to your music and that’s great, but you’re not gaining the full financial potential your music can be making.
Make sure to cover all angles of your music. You don’t want to continue to keep missing out on these royalties that are rightfully yours.