Does Songtrust Receive Unallocated Royalties, and If So, How Do We Distribute Them?

As a music publishing administrator, Songtrust may receive unallocated royalties (sometimes called “Black Box” royalties) from our pay sources. These are generally distributed when those pay sources owe royalties from the usage of musical works, but don’t know who to pay, often because those works weren’t registered correctly, or at all. In some cases, pay sources will hold the funds for a period of time (often several years), before distributing these unallocated royalties to publishers and administrators.

When Songtrust receives unallocated royalties from our pay sources, our royalties team works to distribute the amount received to our clients pro rata, based on our clients’ and their works’ earnings from that specific source during the specific time period covered by the unallocated payment. 

For example, if, as a Songtrust client, your songs received 1% of the royalties paid to us by Source X during the year covered by the Source X unallocated royalties distribution, it’s our policy to pay you 1% of that distribution, subject to Songtrust’s administration fee.

In other words, we don’t keep any portion of unallocated fund distributions, outside of the administration fee that we charge on all royalties. At Songtrust, our mission is to ensure that our clients receive all of the royalties they have earned, and we distribute all revenue we receive accordingly.


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