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Why Licensing Your Music for Royalties Still Matters in the Age of Music Streaming

Why Licensing Your Music for Royalties Still Matters in the Age of Music Streaming

Music royalties have been a hot topic over the last few years, particularly as music streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, and Jay-Z’s Tidal platform continue to compete for market dominance. Hear what Harry has to say about the subject…

Why Licensing Your Music for Royalties Still Matters in the Age of Music Streaming

Music royalties have been a hot topic over the last few years, particularly as music streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, and Jay-Z’s Tidal platform continue to compete for market dominance.

According to the BBC, streaming is quickly catching up to downloading as the most popular way of consuming music, and it’s only set to grow. Having reinvented the digital music wheel once with their iTunes service, Apple are getting into the streaming game with their recent $3 billion purchase of Dr Dre’s Beats Music.

Yet whilst this may be good news for streaming platforms and the company’s behind them, music, musicians themselves have far fewer reasons to rejoice.

It’s no secret that the royalty rates on streaming services are so low that you’d need One Direction level popularity before you could even afford to replace your guitar strings on Spotify profits alone. So with that in mind, is there even any point in taking the trouble to register with royalty collection services ##lke## PRS, MCPS or PPL?

In a word, yes. Here are just a few reasons why.

There’s more to music than Spotify

Streaming may be fast becoming the de facto way that fans actively consume music, but it isn’t the only way they hear it. If a song you wrote and recorded is performed live, broadcast on TV or radio, included in a movie, short or even a video game, you’re owed a royalty payment.

The same goes for those songs that form the background soundtrack in shops, restaurants, bars and other public access venues.

What’s more, most of these income streams are going to pay for far more than a pack of guitar strings. Remember the big story in 2014 when Jessie J revealed that she paid for three years rent by penning a Miley Cyrus song? We may not all achieve that kind of success, but it certainly goes some way to prove that royalties, for songwriters at least, are still a viable source of income for musicians.

New platforms need new music

As the Internet continues to redefine the way we consume media, it likewise increases the number of content creators out there looking to license music. As such, musicians are presented with new opportunities to source their music and get paid for it in the process.

Streaming is still in its infancy

Along those same lines, we have to at least consider the fact that, as a medium, it’s still relatively early days for music streaming. Whilst they may not be paying out big bucks now, all sources point to that eventually changing.

With Jay-Z’s megastar-backed Tidal and innovators ##lke## Apple both making strides into streaming, we’re only going to see its popularity go even further, and, providing those companies leading the way have got their business models in order, more popularity should lead to more money coming in.

Do you think those big-name artists are still going to settle for tiny pay-outs when Spotify is rolling in the proverbial dough? They’re already up in arms about it now, so as things continue to grow, you can bet they’re going to start demanding bigger royalties, setting a precedent that will filter throughout the industry and affect musicians and songwriters at all levels.

That alone is enough to convince us that there’s still a lot to be said for registering our songs for royalties, but maybe you have a completely different view. We’d love to hear your opinions, your experiences of working with Performing Rights Organisations, and whether you think it’s important to license your music for royalties.

Leave us your comments below.

About The Author

Red Dog Music

Dawsons Music is delighted to announce that the Red Dog Music brand is now part of the Dawsons family. This is an exciting opportunity to bring both communities together and create a stronger, wider network of people passionate about music gear. We both share a common heritage to support musicians throughout the UK and Dawsons want to support Red Dog Music customers in their continued musical journey.

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