Songwriter | Publisher | Publishing Administrator
There are two copyrights in each piece of recorded music. One for the lyric and melody, which is called the musical composition and the other for the sound recording.
The instant you write a song, you get a copyright. The instant you write a song you also become three things:
1. The Songwriter, because you wrote the song.
2. The Publisher, because you own the copyright to the song.
3. The Publishing Administrator, because it is your job to give the licenses and collect the revenue that is generated from your copyright when it is used.
When you are the songwriter, publisher and publishing administrator you are termed as a self-published artist.
However, like most artists, you can make a deal with a publishing administration company.
What is a Publishing Administration Company?
A Publishing Administration company is responsible for licensing, registering and administering compositions on behalf of the songwriters or the copyright holder that they represent. A Publishing Administrator assumes no ownership of your compositions whatsoever. That means 100% of your copyright remains with you.
By enlisting the help of a Publishing Administration Company, you – the copyright owner - can rest easy knowing that the heavy lifting is taken care of, ensuring you get paid, so that you can focus on creating.
If you want to make a business out of your music and earn money you have to license and collect revenue from multiple streams. These are the 6 ways your song makes money.
1. The right of Public Performance (performance royalties)
As seen in the chart below, performance royalties are generated every time your music is performed publicly. For example: T.V., radio, bars, clubs, shopping malls, restaurants, live gigs, etc. Performance royalties are also generated when your song is streamed on digital streaming services like Spotify, Shazam, etc.
2. The right of Reproduction (mechanical royalties and synchronization royalties)
Mechanical Royalties are generated when a copy is made of your lyric and melody. Think C.D’s. Mechanical Royalties are also generated when you download a song from a digital platform like Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
Sync License is a license given to someone (eg: advertising agency) to pair your lyric and melody with a visual. This generates a royalty every time it is aired or for a specific period of time, depending on the agreement.
3. The right of Derivatives (translations, sampling)
4. The right of Public Display
5. The right of Distribution (the ability to commercially distribute the sound recording)
6. The right of Digital Transmission (the ability to digitally distribute the sound recording on an interactive or non-interactive platform)
What are the different types of royalties?
It is important to know that a song's structure is split into two: composition and master recording. The composition refers to the lyrics and the underlying melody of a piece of music, while the master refers to the particular (and usually final physical) recording of that song. Performance royalties specifically lay with the composition only.
Performance royalties are earned when a song is publicly performed, plain and simple. That, however, doesn’t just mean live performance, but also means when a recording of the song is played publicly, such as over the radio or at a bar or gym -- or streamed on a service like Spotify.
Mechanical royalty is the revenue received to reproduce a piece of music onto CDs, DVDs, records and tapes. This also includes downloads.
When reproduction of music is paired with a visual, i.e. made into a soundtrack of a film or TV show, the reproduction is called “synchronization,” and the license that the TV or film producer needs to obtain is called a synchronization, or “sync,” license.
Who can earn royalty from music?
Music Authors & Lyricists
Music Publishers and Producers | Labels
What kind of music can be registered?
Feature Film Song
Film Background score
TV Title Score
TV Serial background Score
Theme Music for TV Shows & Events
6 Most common mistakes to avoid when registering songs.
Properly registering songs with a collection society is one of the most important steps you can take in order to make sure you receive your royalties.
A PRO (Performance Rights Organisation) relies on the song registration information to determine who they need to pay and exactly how much needs to be paid.
Any mistakes or omissions during that process, puts you at risk of having your hard earned royalties withheld by collection societies or ending up with the wrong parties.
Here are some of the most common mistakes songwriters make when registering their songs:
- Not including the Interested Party Information (IPI) numbers and contact information of the publisher and songwriter of the song.
- Not including all your cowriters and their shares in the song registration. Incorrect song ownership information is one of the most common reasons copyright owners have their royalties withheld.
- Not taking the steps to update your contact information and current publisher at your collection society.
- Not updating your song registration with new recordings or alternative titles.
- Not listing the songs performers, ISRC and metadata can cause issues with tracking and collecting your royalties worldwide.
- Not submitting your set lists from live performances of your song.
This may seem like a lot of information to track and update every time something small changes with your song, but the first step is understanding how important a full and complete registration is for your catalogue.
For over a decade now, Joshua Inc has been the leading visionary in setting up systems and processes, while working closely with authors, composers, publishers and labels to make sure that the rightful owners of the music meta data is accurately entered to ensure the rightful owners receive their royalties.
We want you to enjoy creating your music, while you let us handle the rest.
Sign up now to make sure you receive every penny due to you.
How does Joshua music royalty administration work?
Benefit from a 6-step, pain-free process that maximizes the royalties from your musical work.
Identifies the work that's already registered with the various Performing Rights Societies [PRO].
Inputs your musical work that is not in a specific royalty society system.
Amends your musical work that is wrongly inputted into a specific royalty society system.
Registers your musical work with multiple societies that pay out royalties.
Updates the royalty society databases with your new work and gets it registered with the royalty societies.
Sends you monthly reports on what’s up with your work in our database.