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Royalty Payout for Music and Videos Royalty Payout for Music and Videos Imastercopy
Saturday, 14 September 2019 09:33 Written by
Published in Music Marketing

Is having radio/video airplay always the best option for performance artist?

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Yes, having radio and video airplay is always the best option for a performing artist. Why? more money in the end. Based on the performing arts organization a performer is associated with, and their payout amount /schedule, putting up the promotional budget can pay off in a great way. A performing artist marketing plan that ensures radio and video airplay is an essential and keyway for the performer to generate a good income.


Performers having airplay on radio and television increase their downloads and streaming. When a performer increases their music/video streaming and downloads this increases revenue overall for the performer. Understanding how this works is a vital path to success for performers as we are moving in digital times, where everyone believes streaming is everything.


Based on information taken from The Royalty Exchange, performance royalties are the fees music users pay when music is performed publicly. Music played over the radio, in a restaurant or bar, or over a service like Spotify, Pandora, Napster, Google Play, Itunes and alike is considered a public performance.

Performance Rights Organizations or PROs (in the US that is BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC) gather songwriting execution sovereignties from music clients and afterward pay lyricists and rights holders (distributers).


  • Like BMI and ASCAP, SoundExchange gathers recording execution sovereignties to recording specialists and names at whatever point music is performed openly — however just for advanced exhibitions. 


  • That is on the grounds that copyright guideline as it stands implies earthly telecasters (AM/FM radio) pay execution eminences to lyricists, yet not the chronicle craftsmen. 


  • Advanced exhibitions (for instance, Pandora) pay recording computerized execution sovereignties to SoundExchange and songwriting computerized execution eminences to the PROs. 


  • Be that as it may, on the other side, BMI and ASCAP are represented by assent orders, which means an arm of the US Judicial Branch (called a "rate-court") can set the rates (per radio play, per stream, and so forth.). BMI and ASCAP gather for songwriting execution sovereignties. In return for the privilege to gather for the benefit of lyricists crosswise over America, they are constrained in their capacity to consult by this rate court. 


  • SoundExchange isn't administered by an assent order, which means they can consult on the free advertising. This is the place things get confusing. Recording specialists get paid nothing when their music is played on AM/FM radio (in light of the fact that there's no exhibition directly for chronicles on earthly radio, and accordingly no presentation sovereignty paid), yet they are ordinarily paid in any event multiple times more than musicians when music is performed carefully, as on Pandora. That is a result of SoundExchange's arrangement power and BMI/ASCAP's impediments. AM/FM supporters do pay musicians, however, it's at a sovereignty rate at last set by the courts.


For this break down we will use American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc(BMI) as examples for what a performer can make within a year, given the performer receives airplay from radio or television. Both BMI and ASCAP pays out royalties on a quarterly basis. Both organization also has direct deposit option or to have a check mailed. BMI pay out royalties of $250 dollars or more are collected. ASCAP payout royalties start at $1, but usually payout at $100 threshold.


 Broadcast Music, Inc(BMI)

Based on information from the BMI website "a radio feature performance of a popular song is one that lasts 60 seconds plus and is the sole sound broadcast at the time of the performance. BMI makes separate payment for three categories of radio feature performances, based upon a sampling of stations licensed by BMI. The categories are commercial, classical and college radio". BMI gives out a bonus for a song that is played more than 95,000 times as it considers a hit song. BMI also has a standard playout bonus for the heavy rotated song with would fall under 95,000 times in a quarter. Below is a brief overview. Visit the BMI music website for more detailed information.


  • College radio play = $0.06 therefore it's, $60 (royalty payout) per a 1,000 radio play
  • Classical radio play  = $0.32, per 60 seconds so payment ranges depending on the length of the song and how long it was played for. But, 1,000 play for 60 seconds is $320 (royalty payout)
  • Commercial radio play = $0.18 per play (royalty payout). 1,000 play at the least amount is $180


American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP)

ASCAP royalty payout is calculated by the following equation,

Use Weight X Licensee Weight X"Follow the Dollar"FactorTime of DayWeight+Premium Credits=Credits



$0.0000955… for the songwriter/composers/lyricists

$0.0000955… for the publisher(s)

$0.0000281… for the PRO (average across ASCAP/BMI/SESAC)


$0.000219 <- in Total for Songwriters, Publishers, and PRO

Approximately $95.50 for a performance to 1,000,000 (listeners) ** Please note this reads (Listeners and NOT plays).

This means if your music is being played on (5 stations) with (1,000,000 listeners) per play and you received (1,000) on each station you would get ($475,000)

5 Stations x 1,000,000 Listeners = (5,000,000 (Listeners))

$95 (per 1,000,000 Listeners) X 5(stations)= $475 x (1,000 rotation in all 5 High Premium Market)=$475,000


So, it's about $5.9 per 62K Listeners. so if you had 1,000 ratation in the market you royality pay out would be about $593. There for we suggest that iMastercopy $199 package which get you 600 spins a monthsa months will payout greatly!

 ASCAP Payout Schedule.

2020 Dates Distribution Type Performance Period
Monday, January 6, 2020 Domestic Writer Distribution April, May & June 2019 (2Q19)
2019 Dates Distribution Type Performance Period
Friday, September 20, 2019 Domestic Publishers Distribution January, February & March 2019 (1Q19)
Monday, October 7, 2019 Domestic Writer Distribution January, February & March 2019 (1Q19)
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 International Distribution  
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 Domestic Publishers Distribution April, May & June 2019 (2Q19)

Over the years for performing right organizations:

$177,432.445 <- Estimate of ASCAP collections from US Radio*

$171,854,300 <- Estimate of BMI collections from US Radio**

$32,013,800 <- Estimate of SESAC collections from US Radio

Outside the U.S. the royalty rate is around 8 percent to 10 percent but varies by country.


Overall, it goes without saying that royalties from highly listened stations such a HOT 97 in New York City, New York will payout more royalties than a radio show in a less premium listenership market. So it's a good idea to have a marketing budget to obtain radio play regardless of the market size.

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