How to earn money from publishing rights?

Writer Rutger Beijer
Last updated Mar 2024
There are different ways for a songwriter to generate income from the various rights that fall under "Publishing Rights."

Mechanical Rights
Mechanical royalties are generated whenever a musical composition is physically or digitally reproduced. This allows songwriters to generate royalties for every copy of their composition that is manufactured (CDs, Vinyl), downloaded, and streamed. This also means that Mechanical Royalties are earned through streaming services for streams and digital downloads. 

Performance Rights
Performance rights refer to the rights when music is performed publicly. This could be live shows, clubs, supermarkets, radio, and streaming services as well. Songwriters can collect their Performance Rights royalties through organizations (PROs) such as ASCAP, BMI, PRS, GEMA, and BUMA. 

Synchronization licenses
Synchronization licenses refer to the right to use a composition in movies, TV shows, commercials, and other visual media. Songwriters can monetize Synchronization Rights by receiving a one-time fee or a royalty for using their composition in a visual media project. What Is Sync Licensing?