Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
By Nick Fulton
Getting a royalty check is always a win. It means you successfully released music or contributed compositionally to a recording and that all your hard work paid off. It’s also likely not a one-off payment but part of a recurring revenue stream. That means future money whenever your music is played, reproduced, or streamed on a digital service like Spotify or Apple Music.
But releasing music is the easy part. Knowing when royalties are owed, who pays and collects them, and how splits work when there are multiple songwriters or rights holders – that can be tricky business. Many songwriters miss out on money owed to them simply because collecting it is too complex.
Mechanical royalties are one of many revenue streams available to artists. If you write or contribute to a musical composition – the original lyrics, melodies, or other components of a song – you may be eligible to collect mechanical royalty payments. Unlike performance royalties owed when your music is publicly performed, mechanical royalties are owed whenever a physical or digital copy of your music is made and distributed. Physical copies include vinyl, CDs, cassette tapes, and you are owed royalties whether or not copies are ever sold. As soon as a vinyl record is produced, a mechanical royalty is born. Digital copies – also known as digital distributions or interactive streams – refer to music distributed on an on-demand streaming platform.
For me, as an aspiring musician, this is important information. Thank you for sharing it.
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