In this changing music landscape people who create need to learn about the multiple ways to capitalize on the talent, and what revenue streams are available for them to do so. Because if you want to earn an income from your music you need to treat it as a business, there are four types of royalties that you can earn from. There are Mechanical Royalties that the Copyright Act allows the owner of a copyright of a song the right to create copies of the song to be played on a mechanical device, and even though these devices have changed over the years the rights have not.
The Copyright Act allows for anyone to record the song, but must pay the owner of the song for the right to record it, and through the use of the song or composition there could be other artists who make records of one song and these recordings will yield royalties to the original copyright owner as Mechanical Royalties.
As a copyright owner of a composition you have the right to allow other artists to perform your song, and collect performance royalties for its use in their performance. The performance income from a copyright works is licensed through the performance rights organization (PRO) ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC that can include:
- Any performance of a song or composition – live, recorded or broadcast in TV or Film;
- Any live performance by any musician in a Bar or Club;
- Any performance by any musician through a recording on physical media;
- Performance through the playing of recorded music;
- Any music performed over the internet (digital transmissions)
These organizations issue what is called a Blanket license to media outlets and music users for a fee that the composer and publisher will receive royalties for there is no payment to performance artist. A television show, commercial, or film can generates performance income from the license that is called Synchronization income, and it is paid for the use of background music, songs sung in a movie or over the credits, These licenses are negotiated on the needs of the buyer and seller.