What Are Writer Performance Royalties?

The difference between writer and publisher share of royalties explained.

Writer performance royalties are royalties paid out directly to songwriters by the Performaning Rights Organization(PRO) that the songwriter is affiliated with (ASCAP, BMI, etc.). Performance royalties have traditionally been split with one half being sent to the songwriters directly (writer share) and the other half being sent to a publisher or publishing entity (publisher share).

For example: performance income is sent from digital service providers like Spotify and performance venues to your PRO such as ASCAP. Then, ASCAP sends half the money directly to you, the writer, and sends the other half to us at Songtrust as your publishing administrator, which we then pay you. While this is true of Songtrust, not all publishers send the publisher's share back to clients. This process is reliant on the type of publishing agreement that you have with your publisher. 

What else should I know about Writer Performance Royalties?
At Songtrust, we’ve begun collecting your writer share directly from some sources, like Amazon Prime Music and Google Play. Why? Having Songtrust collect your full amount directly means you get your money faster, and there’s one less hand in your pocket taking a collection fee. At Songtrust, we pay out the writer performance royalties at 100% instead of the commission rate you agreed to when signing up with Songtrust.

This diagram helps to break down how Songtrust distributes your royalties.

ST royalty collection


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