PERFORMING RIGHTS ORGANIZATION (PRO)
PRO stands for Performing Rights Organization, and their main purpose is to represent songwriters and their music works. They license your music out to businesses, granting businesses permission to legally play your music in public. Radio broadcasters and club establishments must also acquire a license from PRO's before playing your music. Technically, you could go directly to radio stations yourself and license your music directly, therefore obtaining all the proceeds your music generates, however you'd have to gain a relationship with each and every radio station; which is still possible.
PRO's usually issue blanket licenses which give businesses access to play from a whole catalogue of music. Each air-play of your music is paid royalties, collected by your collection society (Your PRO) for the use of your music, which then are allocated back to you as the rights holder. This is what is known as 'Performance Royalties' Businesses are required to pay this blanket license for a certain period of time, allowing your music to generate royalties. You receive performance royalties not only from live performances at events and gigs you attend, but also when your songs has broadcast on radio AM/FM, or played at a venue like a bar or club, any business establishment such as a gym or barber, etc., these are all classed as public performances. A stream-play on Spotify or YouTube are also regarded as a performance of your music, so a generated royalty must be paid out to you.
How can you affiliate with a PRO?
If you're not yet affiliated with a PRO, don't worry, we affiliate all musicians and new users signing up to our platform. This is essential and is the first step to allowing your music to generate the majority of royalties. A free service MEUTONE provides members when registering music onto our platform. You will be affiliated with your local PRO, now as an official recording artist as well as the registration of your music works. Members will then receive a new IPI code which is an international identification number assigned to songwriters to uniquely identify you as your music rights holder, (like the 12-digit code on your visa debit card identifying you as the account holder). You are now able to earn performance royalties. You will be paid directly by your PRO.
Publishing deals can sometimes be an oblivious sacrifice musicians misunderstand, most times relinquishing rights and ownership to their music spanning several years, to someone you have employed to do a service I should highlight. This also means half of your performance royalties are split directly down the middle and in some cases including all of your mechanicals. Depending on how well your music is doing, you might not need one immediately at this stage in your career. Until your career has really taken off, where your music is generating a lot of international royalties, it maybe an option for you to consider at a later stage.
So what is a publicist's role and why would you need them?
Basically one of their main roles is to maintain the accuracy of your music metadata, license rights to your music out to businesses and hosting platforms such as radio broadcasting to ensure your music is generating revenue, besides all the pitching and sync opportunities. This can be a technical tedious job just to keep up with correct payments of all who owe you royalties. One disadvantage to working with a publicist, is having arrangements where your music is locked in that contract, giving you no control or oversight to your music's publications and knowing whether your publicist is fulfilling their obligations to you as an artist prioritizing your music in your best interest, where your works could possibly be just sitting on the back burner. But depending on your publishing deal and clauses in the agreement you agree to, will also define whether you still own your publishing rights and the roles they'll be doing.
Would I still own publishing rights to my music?
MEUTONE operates in partnership with Songtrust to ensure registered members, still own the publishing rights to their music and collect all owed mechanical royalties. Songtrust is a global trusted advocate, whom represents on behalf of registered MEUTONE members, helping songwriters and artists collect mechanical royalties around the world. Will collect all of your publishing royalties from international music organizations and other mechanical licensing collections in nearly 250 countries world-wide. Acting on behalf of artists a publishing administrator enables you to control your career and keep all publishing rights to your music.