Music Royalties - Understanding CMO's

Music Royalties - Understanding PRO's

Music royalties are compensatory payments received by rights holders (songwriters, composers, recording artists, and publishers) in exchange for the licensed use of their music.

These performance royalties are paid out by institutions that use the music (from TV channels, radio stations and venues to streaming platforms and beyond), and are collected on behalf of rights holders by PRO's or Performance Rights Organizations.

These royalties are then distributed to the members of these PRO's, provided they have registered their metadata correctly in the PRO's database.

Thus as a songwriter and a publisher, being a member of a PRO is vital to your earnings.

Let us understand this in detail.

1. What are PRO's and why are they important?

Performance Rights Organizations [PROs] represent the community of songwriters, composers and publishers. PROs act as an intermediary entity between copyright owners and music users of any kind of business which plays copyrighted music. PRO's make licensing for any intellectual property easier for music users while protecting the works of artists.

As a songwriter, composer, or lyricist, you're owed what is called a "performance royalty" any time your music is played on radio stations, used on TV shows or commercials, or performed in live venues. Without PRO's there would be no way to collect and distribute royalties.

2. Should you sign up with a PRO?

Artists should register correctly with a PRO to get paid in full for the use of their music. While your label or distributor covers master royalties, and your publisher handles mechanical royalties, a PRO covers the collection and payment of your public performance royalties. In India the PRO you need to sign up for is IPRS. And IPRS is the only PRO that collects performance as well as mechanical royalties in India.

3. What is IPRS?

The Indian Performing Rights Society, also known as IPRS is a representative body of artists, including music owners, composers, lyricists, and publishers of music, which collects royalties due to the artists if their work is used anywhere from a New Year function to a radio or TV — in other words, wherever music is played. The body was set up in 1969, and re-registered as a copyright society in 2017.

IPRS administers rights in respect of Musical Works (i.e. musical compositions/tunes/melodies) and literary works (i.e. lyrics) associated with musical works.

The IPRS has its offices in Mumbai and lyricist Javed Akhtar as its chairman.

4. What Rights does IPRS administer?

The Copyright Act, 1957, provides the exclusive rights granted to copyright holders with respect to their works:

  • the right to perform the work in public;
  • the right to communicate the work by broadcast;
  • the right to communicate the broadcast of the work to the public by a loudspeaker;
  • the right to communicate the broadcast of the work to the public by any instrument;
  • the right to make any record in respect of the work.

The first four rights are known as 'Performing Rights', and the last right is known as 'Mechanical Rights', and are administered on behalf of its members by the IPRS.

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When your music is streamed, used or played anywhere in the world, you're entitled to collect royalties. To make this process easier you can register with a publishing administrator who will accurately register and monitor all your works on your behalf. And that is what we at Joshua Inc excel at.

And that is what we at Joshua Inc excel at.

For over a decade now, we have been putting together systems and processes that ensure your royalties never go unclaimed.

Sign up now and never leave your money on the table.