Holy smokes! I earned nearly $1,900 in back end performance royalties for the 3rd quarter of 2017!!! Now, I've been making about $300/mo through my licensing income through upfront sync fees, but the ability to basically QUADRUPLE my earnings through performance royalties is shocking.
(If you want to get started on license your music, you can watch this 15 minute video basically giving you an overview of the whole thing.)
This is my first quarter with significant back end royalties. I earned about $1,850 from Romania (no, I have no idea what show or why), and another $23 from sales broadcast in the U.S. on the Outdoor Network.
The most remarkable thing is that this is one of my worst songs. I previously published a post about how shocked I was that one of my least favorite songs had earned me $200 in upfront fees. Well now it's become my highest earning song, hands down.
I earned all of this money through my performing rights organization (PRO), BMI.com.
Music Licensing Income = Sync Fees + Back End Royalties
And so normally the way that works is I will license song through Pond 5 and it will entitle somebody to use the music the music for all sorts of projects whether it's a podcast or on YouTube or on a TV show.
And so initially they pay a fee upfront for that. The song sells for 30 anywhere from like 20 to 70, 80 dollars. And I'll get half of that from Pond 5. And you can license the same song multiple times, so I've earned hundreds of dollars in upfront royalties for my best selling songs.
But if somebody goes ahead and use the song on YouTube that's it. There's no further royalties from that.
What Are Performance Royalties?
However there's another category of royalties called performance royalties. Basically if your if a song you wrote is broadcast on national TV or in a public space generally speaking you are entitled to a royalty for that.
I've done a much more in depth post on the different types of royalties in this video, if you're interested in watching. How to Get Your Performance Royalties
From a Frustrated Producer in a Ragtag Bedroom Studio to Major Placements on TV Earning $1,000s!
My name is Evan, and I've been making music since around 3rd grade. I'm from San Diego, California, but I've lived in Washington, DC for the last 20 years.
While I still have a full-time day job, I have created systems that have allowed me to produce dozens of songs a year in my spare time.
My songs have been on Netflix, TV shows like the 90 Day Fiance, an award-winning indie film, and NPR’s “All Thing Considered.” They've also been streamed millions of times.
In addition to being a music producer, I am passionate about teaching people how they can make professional-sounding music and earn money licensing it, all in their spare time.
Thousands of musicians, like yourself, have trusted me to guide their musical journey. My YouTube videos have been watched nearly a million times. And my story has been in Forbes, Side Hustle Nation, and the Side Hustle School.