Earning money from your music – royalties, licensing, ad and streaming revenue

So I posted this bit of info on my Facebook page earlier today – I thought I’d re-post it here in case it’s of interest to anyone! :)

1) PRS, PPL & MCPS are the UK organisations for collecting royalties. The PRS deal in public performance royalties as do PPLPRS is any use of a song (ie composition) performed live, played on radio etc, whereas PPL is for performances of the actual recordings of your song – however if your song is played on the radio you’d get royalties from both as it would cover both a performance of your recording and your composition. MCPS is to do with mechanical sales – so CD sales etc – it costs to join the MCPS and is only really worth doing if you’re selling LOADS of records.

I’d recommend signing up with a company called Sentric (www.sentricmusic.com), who can collect PRS royalties on your behalf. It’s free to join and they take a 20% cut. That sounds like a lot but the PRS claiming process is so difficult and convoluted and Sentric make it 100% easier to earn royalties so you’ll likely make more money through using them (I do.)

Sentric can also get your music TV and film placements, which leads me on to no.2

2) licensing! Getting placements through TV, film, documentaries, videogames etc can be a good earner. Sentric are great for getting placements – although they mainly only deal with big companies (eg channel 5, the producers of Skins and Hollyoaks.) It’s a lot easier to get your music licensed for smaller projects, eg. company office use, call centres, cafes and bar playlists and small films and documentaries etc. For these I use a site called Jamendo. Jamendo also give its users ad revenue from the site based on how many page impressions you get. To get all these benefits though you have to be giving your music away for free download, which is the main purpose of the site (it’s a creative commons music community.)

3) streaming and ad revenue. There’s stuff like google adwords, which you can potentially put on your website but it’s a bit spammy. Youtube have two partner programs, the 1st of which is easy to get on to if you upload videos fairly regularly and get a few hundred views for each video. You then get adverts shown on your videos and earn a share of the ad revenue youtube gets. It pays pretty well.

Then there’s streaming sites like Spotify (which pays sod all.) If you are releasing music to iTunes and Amazon etc through CDbaby, CDbaby can collect streaming revenue from nearly anywhere your music is streamed online.

This is just skimming the basics, but hopefully it will prove useful! :)

- Marc.

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