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4 Royalties You Are Missing, Even With a PRO

Songtrust-International-Royalties (1)

So you’ve set yourself up as a member of a performing rights organization. Congrats, you’re off to a great start! However, there are still many different income sources that they ASCAP or BMI do not collect. Let’s find out what you might be missing.

Mechanical Royalties:
Performing rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) only collect performance royalties, not mechanicals. When you join Songtrust, we will register your songs with Harry Fox Agency (the US mechanical licensing agency) and other mechanical collection societies worldwide. With your music registered for mechanicals, artists we be able to obtain mechanical licenses to release cover versions of your songs.

Interactive streaming services allow you to choose the songs you listen to (Spotify, Rdio, Beats etc). Most of the royalties generated from interactive streaming come in the form of mechanical royalties. (There are also a small fraction of performance royalties that will be collected by your PRO.) YouTube also generates interactive streaming royalties — more on that here

International Sales:
Outside of the US, music retailers (iTunes, Rhapsody, etc)  are required to pay mechanical licensing societies (think Harry Fox Agency but in other areas of the world) around 9% of revenue earned from each download. This amounts to about 9 cents per digital download, owed to the songwriter. This money sits at the mechanical society until it is collected by a publishing administrator like Songtrust. If you have international sales, you are likely missing your international mechanical royalties.

International Performance Royalties:
ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are designed to collect performance royalties in the US. Songtrust registers your songs directly with international performing rights organziations worldwide and collects royalties directly from these sources. Our direct agreements function faster and more efficiently than ASCAP/BMI/SESAC’s reciprocal agreements.

Not yet affiliated with a PRO? When you join Songtrust, we will help you become a member of ASCAP or BMI!

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8 thoughts on “4 Royalties You Are Missing, Even With a PRO

  1. I signed up for Tunesat admin. for two years, knowing that I was taking a risk. Would the new income sources offset the 10% I would now be paying them from the performance royalties that I was previously collecting directly from my PRO through my publishing company? The answer, after two years, was no. I am waiting for a service that will just collect the income sources that I am not collecting currently.

    1. Chuck,

      Tunesat is a tracking service. Songtrust is a global publishing administrator. Sounds like a global publishing admin deal is what you need. Email us at with some more details about your work so that we can see if Songtrust would be a good fit.

  2. Pardon me, I meant to say Tunecore, not Tunesat. I don’t want an admin deal that covers the U.S. performance royalties, as I am already collecting them directly through ASCAP. But thanks for the email evaluation offer, I will take you up on it.

  3. I am a solo artist and with a duo who have many CD’s released. Do you collect any back royalties from Europe, Australia, etc when we had airplay a few years ago? Also, we are on CD Baby who collects the streams, which are very small.

    1. Hi David! We do collect back royalties, generally between 2-3 years if the royalties are there.
      To sign up with Songtrust, click the following link to get started
      Email us at if you have any questions!

  4. I notice that this article claims that PROs do not collect from streaming platforms such as YouTube and Spotify. Upon research via ASCAP’s website, itself, i found that they do claim to collect royalties from these types of websites:

    Am I missing something? Even on my statement from ASCAP it shows that there is collection of monies from these websites.

    So, what more is the benefit using such a site like SongTrust, Tunecore, CD Baby, et cetera?

    Travis Miller

    1. Hi Travis. PROs only pay out performance royalties generated by digital streaming services such as YouTube and Spotify, and these royalties are paid out based on the overall success of a song. So essentially, if your song is not a Top 40 hit, you can’t expect to see much in the way of performance royalties from streaming. Songtrust also collects mechanical royalties generated from streaming which are calculated differently and generally higher than performance royalties.

  5. Some great information herein.
    Cosmo Ohms
    ANAMAZE Booking Agency

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