Music Royalties

Mark's picture

Always knew that the person who wrote the song and the publisher get money but not the person or band performing the song....unless the performers are also the songwriters.

In the Rolling Stones just for example if Mick Jaggar wrote the song and is registered as the writer, even though the band is performing it only Mick Jaggar gets royalties from sales and airplay or any other usage of the song. Not the band as a whole.




timinbovey's picture

Things they leave out in articles like this ---

The ONLY thing radio has to sell is airtime. They give it for free to musicians, be they local, national, or whatever.  They get valuable airtime for free.  Of course, this is in exchange for use of the performance on the recording. Sales of this airtime is how radio survives. they want it free, AND expect radio to PAY to GIVE them air time. This is why congress has always voted music for broadcast to be a fair exchange, the way it has been for decades.  And if these musicians don't feel that radio provides them any benefit, why the hell do they all want airtime?

Further, even in todays multi-media world, radio is still a key factor in exposing the public to new music. Dozens of recent surveys and studies show it.  Most local musicians would do just about anything to get the exposure of having their song on the radio, and getting several minutes of free air time. In the cities mentioned airtime is well north of $100 per 30 seconds. So, if they'd like to persue this, great. We'll pay your royalties, you pay the going rate for the airtime. 

Further, they talk about performers not getting a revenue stream from radio. No, maybe not, but the publicity radio generates gets people to their live performances, and gets people to buy their music -- which today includes CD's of course, and downloads, and an awful  lot of vinyl (again) and (for Pete's sake) cassettes are making a comback too!. So, they generate an income from live appearances, sales of music, sales of merchandise (T-shirts, tour books, posters, all the other bric-a-brac on the merchandise tables). 

What they're saying is "Please pay us to use your airtime for free to reach your audience". 

As a (very small) record label myself I can show you, on paper, hard evidence, that when an independent artists songs are played on the air the result is directly increased sales of both physical CD's and mp3 downloads. Of course this assumes th emusic doesn't suck, and is played for an appropriate on air audience. When we put out my Son's blues CD years ago we made it available from online CD stores, local music stores, and all the download purchase places. Due to my work in radio I'm well versed in pushing music for airplay. I promoted him and got plenty of airplay. He got plenty on blues shows, college stations, a lot of European stations, and several times on a syndicated worldwide blues show.  We often knew when he would be on the air, as often the producer would call or email, the syndicated show sent us the whole show in fact, etc.  We could directly see that airplay generated sales, and download and mail order CD sales were trackable live and directly.  When he played on a big radio show in Finland, we could see over the next couple days sales generated in Finland.  And on down the line.  This is hard, factual, on paper numbers that directly relate airplay to sales. When he was played on the Armed Forces Radio Network, we saw sales from APO/FPO addresses. When he was played on the local public radio station, people went to the hippie coffee shop in town and bought physical CD's.  When he was interviewed on a radio show, he received emails and additional hits on the website. 

Stay off the radio and see how much music you sell.


Mark's picture

Agree about the radio....When I was growing up in the late 50s and 60s and still listening to radio in the 70s, the only way I heard of a new song by someone is on the radio. The most important thing was getting played. Payola happened because it was so important for a station to play it that artists would pay them to get it on.

Even now to an extent this is still true. The only way you know Brad Paisley has a new album/song is the radio plays it and announces this is new.

When Motley Crue did their farewell tour they didn't make a new album with new songs because they said the radio won't play it.

Still seems to be important.



Radiodugger's picture

Thank you Tim! A voice of reason in a money-grubbing world!