15 January 2023

Understand Music Royalties and Distribution

Music royalties refer to the payments made to songwriters, performers, and copyright owners for the use of their music. These payments can be made for a variety of uses, including when a song is played on the radio, streamed on a music platform, or used in a film or television show.

Music distribution is the process of getting music from the artist or record label to the consumer. This can be done through a variety of channels, including physical distribution (such as CDs or vinyl records) or digital distribution (such as streaming platforms or online stores).

In the music industry, royalties are typically collected and distributed by Performance Rights Organizations (PRO) such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and SOCAN, and mechanical rights organizations such as Harry Fox Agency and Music Reports. These organizations collect royalties from streaming services, radio, television, and other sources that use copyrighted music. They then distribute these royalties to the copyright owners, typically the songwriters and publishers.

In terms of music distribution, there are a few different ways to get music out to the public. Many artists and independent record labels distribute their music through digital platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Some also distribute their music through physical formats like CDs and vinyl records.

In addition, there are also many music distribution companies that can help artists and record labels distribute their music to streaming services, online stores, and even physical retail outlets. These companies can help with getting music on platforms, collecting royalties and providing analytics to help artists understand how their music is performing.

Overall, royalties and music distribution are two important components of the music industry that allow creators to be compensated for their work and ensures that it reaches the audience.

Some important websites for royalties and music distribution include:

  • SoundExchange ( – for collecting and distributing digital performance royalties for sound recordings
  • Harry Fox Agency ( – for licensing and collecting mechanical royalties for the use of musical compositions
  • TuneCore ( – for independent artists to distribute their music to various streaming platforms
  • DistroKid ( – another distribution service for independent artists to get their music on streaming platforms
  • CD Baby ( – for independent artists to distribute their music and collect royalties
  • BMI ( – for licensing and collecting performance royalties for musical compositions
  • ASCAP ( – another organization for licensing and collecting performance royalties for musical compositions.

If you found this article informative and useful, check out our other related content on the topic –How to Join Performance Rights Organization (PRO)?

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