Resource

The Importance of Setlists

Liane Bonin Starr
Liane Bonin Starr on Apr 10, 2018

While many setlists have been (and undoubtedly will continue to be) hastily scribbled on napkins and scraps of paper, that doesn't mean they're not valuable – a handwritten Nirvana setlist, complete with a dirty footprint, sold for a cool $10,000, after all. A setlist doesn't have to be a collectible item or concert souvenir for it to have worth. In fact, songwriters earn performance royalties from when their songs are played in public, and submitting their setlist is key to getting those royalties.

Many performing artists are unaware that their setlist, whether it's handwritten or printed, can actually earn them royalties in addition to their gig – whether that performance is from a gig during a whirlwind world tour to a humble open mic night at a coffee shop. If you own the rights to the song and submit your setlist to your publisher, they can submit it to your performance rights organization (aka PROs) for extra earned royalties! Getting that setlist into the right hands, whether while on the road or a gig at the local bar, can be a daunting task for any artist – though not doing it means leaving money on the table.

Songtrust is the first publishing administration platforms to allow clients to register setlists for international shows, giving rights owners an opportunity to collect live performance royalties simply and easily. While US PROs don’t allow publishers to submit on a songwriter’s behalf, we will guide you through the process for shows played in the US as well.  

Fortunately, registering a setlist isn't hard, and Songtrust also allows users to review past earnings on an interactive Reports page. The setlist needs only be inputted into the Songtrust dashboard – a task that can be done on any computer, anywhere in the world. It means stuffing wrinkled setlists in an overstuffed suitcase is no longer necessary – but they still make great souvenirs.

Example of a setlist filled out.Use our guide and example of a filled-in Setlist submission to properly submit your setlists. To make sure you're collecting on all your live performances, sign up for Songtrust and submit your setlists!

Register Your Songs

Photo by Tim Wright

Related Articles

The World of Music Publishing Royalties: Webinar Recap

Throughout November and December, we held a webinar series revolving around The World of Music Publishing Royalties. Over the course of five sessions, hosted by Songtrust's own Noelle Gambuti and Elizabeth McBride, Publishing Specialists, and various special guests, we dove into the major themes of music publishing royalties. We covered topics from the types of royalties your song can earn you to specialized royalties like YouTube and streaming royalties. The turnout was tremendous and those that attended asked a lot of excellent questions.

Dec 13, 2018

How to Get The Most Out of Your Soundcloud Account

Soundcloud has become a critical tool for any songwriter or musician who wants to reach an audience of potential fans – but it isn’t as easy to do as simply pushing a button. As the largest online music community, Soundcloud affords an independent music maker a significant platform, but one that’s crowded with thousands and thousands of other artists, too. Here are some important steps to keep in mind when using Soundcloud to make sure your work stands out and finds the receptive audience you want.

Dec 11, 2018

Producers & Publishing

The beat of a song (the drum, digital, or other percussive "beat" that serves as a core element in the song) can sometimes be as important – or even more important, especially in EDM and hip-hop music – than lyrics or melody in making a song a hit. But when a beat is created by someone other than a songwriter, such as a producer, what rights do they have to publishing royalties or writing credits? The short answer is – it's complicated.

Nov 27, 2018