Music royalties


Morgane Stapleton, wife of musician Chris Stapleton and a musician herself with EMI Music, gave insight on how musicians make money off of songs and their payment process, which most people aren’t aware of.

While being a successful musician in the music industry can be a very rewarding job, the payment process seems to be quite complicated, as there are various groups of people involved in the music that deserve to reap part of its benefits. According to Stapleton, there are two ways for the artist to get paid.

There are two types of royalties involved in an artist’s pay, which are different in how money can be made from a song. Mechanical royalties come from the record sales, which would include albums and individual songs sold on iTunes or in stores. Performance royalties come from radio airplay and live performances.

“Publishers are responsible for collecting mechanical royalties (from record labels) and sync fees (film/TV) and distributing them to writers,” explained Stapleton. “Performing rights organizations such as ASCAPSESAC and BMI are responsible for collecting performance royalties and distributing them to publishers and writers.”

It’s hard to determine how much artists make because their involvement and work in the industry can vary so dramatically from person to person, and it also depends on how well their work does in sales. While there is a great deal involved in the pay of a musician, there is also a great deal of benefit when all is said and done.


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