Whenever music you’ve written is played on the radio, streamed online, used in the soundtrack to a TV show/film/game, or performed in a live venue — you are owed a royalty for that “performance.”
But independent artists often don’t get paid all the performance royalties they could be collecting, and there are two common reasons for this sad fact.
The two main reasons songwriters aren’t collecting all the performance royalties they could
#1- No P.R.O. affiliation.
What’s a P.R.O.? According to Wikipedia: “a performance rights organization provides intermediary functions, particularly royalty collection, between copyright holders and parties who wish to use copyrighted works publicly…”
Hmmm. So a P.R.O. collects royalties FOR the songwriter FROM… some “parties?”
Who are those parties? Well– restaurants and stores that play music for customers, websites that stream music online, bars and venues that host live performances, and TV and radio stations that transmit music to listeners and viewers.
You can directly affiliate yourself as a songwriter with an organization like ASCAP or BMI, or let Collins Connect handle that affiliation process for you the next time you distribute an album or single.
No P.R.O. affiliation, no performance royalties!
#2- Not listing your actual songs with your P.R.O.
Performing Rights Organizations aren’t psychic, and they certainly don’t have the time to keep theirs eyes on every career move you make. Whenever you write, record, and release a new song or album, you actually have to go back into your P.R.O. account and tell them about this new material! Otherwise they have no idea what songs they should be collecting performance royalties for in the first place.
If you want to get paid performance royalties for your songs, you’ve got to register them with your P.R.O.