As streaming has become increasingly important in today’s music market, it is imperative that you understand how streams turn into publishing royalties – and of course, how to get those royalties into your wallet.
Let’s divide streaming into two different types: Interactive and Non-Interactive. These are defined by the listener’s ability to choose the songs that play next (ability to ‘interact’ with the streaming service, if you will).
1) Non-Interactive Streaming:
Definition: Listeners play music, without the ability to choose the songs that play next.
Also Known As: Internet Radio.
Examples: Pandora, Sirius XM, NPR.
Royalties Generated: Performance royalties.
(These are performances like radio, but digital. Thus, terrestrial radio and other radio-like services generate only performance royalties.)
2) Interactive Streaming:
Definition: Interactive streaming services allow listeners to CHOOSE the songs that are played.
Also Known As: On-demand streaming.
Examples: Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Google Play, Beats Music.
Royalties: Performance royalties & Mechanical royalties.
How to collect: To collect the performance royalties, you will need to join a PRO. To collect the mechanical royalties, you will need to become a publisher affiliate at Harry Fox Agency (to do so on your own, you must have a commercially distributed record release in the US within the last year).