The Two Ways You Get Paid When You License Your Music In Television

by Aaron Davison

When you license one of your songs for use in a television broadcast you generally get paid at least twice. When you initially sell the rights to one of your songs you get what is a called a licensing fee. This is a one time, upfront fee that is paid by a television show for the rights to use your music in their broadcast. This fee can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the show’s budget and how badly they want to use your music. If you’re pitching your music via a publisher they will typically receive half of this amount.

Secondly you get paid what’s know as a performance royalty after the song actually airs. You will typically receive this royalty between six and nine months after the show airs. Performance royalties are distributed via perfoming rights organizations (BMI, Ascap, Sesac) and the amount varies greatly depending on a variety of factors including the length of the segment, how the song is used, what time of day the show is broadcast,etc… My performance royalties have typically ranged from about three hundred dollars to over $2,500.00 per song!

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12 2009


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