Royalties are the money you earn from the sale or usage of your work. How to collect this money can seem really daunting. You’ll come across a few different organizations that do this for you. Now, the money collected from actual sales (whether it be a hardcopy version or digital version) is one thing. (and for digital streaming, see SoundExchange) However, the monitoring of the money earned from the acquired rights to perform or broadcast your work is another. That’s where Performing Rights Organizations (P.R.O.s) like BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC (or SOCAN in Canada) come in. P.R.O.s monitor how many times your work gets used, either on-air (tv/radio), in film, or at venues. So, after you become affiliated with one, you register your work through their website with details on percentages of ownership, and they handle it from there. The company then pays you your share after collecting. You can find a payout calendar on each company’s website.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS:
-Performing Rights Organizations all collect money differently. Check out the website of each for info on how they individually collect so you can better understand which suites you based on your situation.
–If you sign with a publisher, they will likely affiliate you with the P.R.O. they are affiliated with as a company.
-Make sure you have a real reason to join a P.R.O.. Performing Rights Organizations have a minimum amount that has to be reached before they pay you out. You might want to be sure joining one is worth your while first. Try waiting until you have a major release with a known artist, an artist already on radio rotation, or something licensed for tv/film. Otherwise, you might just be collecting a small amount for them and not really for yourself.