The ratio between distribution and publishing revenue is not 1:1. For example, if an interactive streaming service pays a penny rate of 0.005 per stream, this will not be evenly split between the sound recording and the musical composition. Roughly, 70% of streaming service’s total U.S. revenue is allocated to music rights. The sound recording receives the majority of this amount, while approximately 10.5% of the service’s revenue is allocated to the musical composition (generating publishing royalties). Furthermore, the rate for the composition is divided between mechanical and performance royalties with 50% of performance royalties being collected by your local PRO (such as ASCAP or BMI) and paid directly to you as the songwriter. The publisher’s share of performance revenue and 100% of mechanical revenue is collected by TuneCore Publishing. Note that this is an example for U.S. revenue, whereas, foreign revenue will vary in certain aspects.
For example, for $100 of revenue on an interactive streaming service, the breakdown is approximate as follows:
- $30.00 stays with the digital service provider
- $59.50 paid to the sound recording
- $10.50 paid to the composition
- $2.625 performance royalty (writer’s share)
- $2.625 performance royalty (publisher’s share)
- $5.25 mechanical royalty
Note these are estimates provided as an example. The total royalty pool available fluctuates month to month based on the service and any number of factors specific to that service (such as number of total streams, number of subscribers, and advertising revenue).
For distribution revenue, generally, a digital service provider reports an entire month’s sales to TuneCore on a two-month delay. So, if a stream occurred in January you would receive the money and sales report in March.
For publishing revenue, TuneCore receives publishing royalties according to hundreds of societies’ individual distribution schedules. These can vary from society to society but typically the standard society schedule works on a quarterly basis. As a result, TuneCore receives, processes, and pays out royalties 45 days following the end of each calendar quarter on the following basis:
Q1 = January – March (payout will occur in mid-May)
Q2 = April – June (payout will occur in mid-August)
Q3 = July – September (payout will occur in mid-November)
Q4 = October – December (payout will occur in mid-February of the following year)
It typically takes about 3 - 6 months to receive your first royalty payment. For foreign societies, it can take upwards of 12 - 18 months. While this may seem like a long time, this is standard for any publisher. This is a realistic timeline for registering songs at global societies, who then process your writer and song information and process payments. Our royalties department then needs to process payment.