Every year, millions of dollars are generated from the sale of music. Royalties are split between the songwriter, producer and artist(s). How is this money generated?


A song is a simple composition of music, words and melody. It usually has four elements:

    • Melody – the main tune that’s being played. Melodies are usually written by composers and then sung by singers or instrumentalists. Some melodies are played with instruments while others are sung only (vocal).
    • Harmony – notes played at the same time as your main melody to create a fuller sound. These harmonized notes can be played on different instruments, too!
    • Rhythm – the beats in a piece of music that determines its speed (beats per minute). When you tap your foot along to the beat, that’s your body responding musically! That tells us something about how much rhythm plays into our lives on an everyday level even though most people don’t get paid royalties for their daily dance moves…yet! The rhythm changes depending on how fast or slow each musician wants it to be played; this means there are many different types of rhythms out there today including hip-hop and jazz styles like swing which originated way back when slaves were working their fields during slavery days–but let’s not go down memory lane right now because I’d rather talk about how these different musical genres came into existence over time instead…”


Another crucial factor in a song is the voice or instrument that carries the melody

The melody of a song is what makes you remember it. It’s the tune, the whistling part that everyone can sing along to. The melody is usually composed by the composer and then performed by either a singer or an instrumentalist (like a piano player). The melody is written in the key of your song which means it’s written to fit in with all of the other chords you’ve chosen for your chord progression.


Depending on the intellectual rights involved in creating a particular song, it is possible to earn Royalties

As you can see, the process of earning royalties involves paying the author, composer, and publisher. In addition, it’s possible to earn royalties based on your ownership of intellectual property. Your ownership of a copyright or composition could mean receiving royalties from digital downloads and streams on platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music. However, if your song is used in TV commercials or movies then there might be additional opportunities for earning money in this way as well.

As a producer who works with other songwriters, I am often asked how much money is made from royalties and where it goes when someone writes songs together. If you’re interested in learning more about how royalty splits work between writers/producers let’s take a look at some examples:


In Nigeria, Royalties are defined as money paid to an author, composer, or publisher for each copy of a work sold or a license to publish or broadcast it

In Nigeria, Royalties are defined as money paid to an author, composer or publisher for each copy of a work sold or a license to publish or broadcast it. Royalties are usually paid by the copyright owner. For example, the songwriter (the writer) might receive a royalty from the record label that publishes his/her songs and distributes them to music stores and radio stations. The publisher is responsible for paying royalties on behalf of their artists who are not yet famous enough to sell their records but whose songwriting talents have been recognized by publishers who wish to profit from these talents by publishing their works instead of allowing them free access in similar situations where they would have had no choice but accept whatever money was offered in exchange for letting others use their songs freely without being compensated fairly


Copyrights are exclusive rights under which owners can utilize their creative works in different ways

Copyrights are exclusive rights under which owners can utilize their creative works in different ways. They are protected by law, granted for a limited time, and can be sold or transferred.

The two main types of copyrights are sound recording and composition. The sound recording copyright refers to the actual recording itself (i.e., any sounds that you’ve captured on tape or digital media). At the same time, a composition is an actual song itself (lyrics, notes, etc). Each type of copyright has its own set of rules regarding how they should be split up among those involved with creating it; however, several factors can affect how royalties will be distributed when it comes down to sharing credits as well as money earned off sales.


A copyright owner may choose to sell or license some of these rights to others for a specific period

As the owner of a copyright, you may choose to sell or license some of your rights to others for a specific period. The author might grant a publisher the right to publish their book in exchange for royalties, or an artist might grant their record label the right to produce and distribute their record in exchange for royalties. This is called “transferring” rights because those who obtain them are now considered another party with certain privileges and responsibilities that include payment of royalties (usually an ongoing percentage). Copyright owners can also decide not to transfer all their rights when they license something—they may keep some but not others to retain control over how it’s used as well as its quality and integrity.

The majority of songwriters make money from songwriting royalties (50%) while producers typically earn most if not all of their income from producing records (90%). It’s worth considering if you want someone else taking charge while letting them get paid instead.


The creator of a song holds two copyrights for that song; one for the words and music (the composition), and one for the recorded version (the sound recording)

The creator of a song holds two copyrights for that song; one for the words and music (the composition), and one for the recorded version (the sound recording)

The composer and performer are both entitled to a royalty payment based on their contribution to the overall work, but they are not entitled to any portion of each other’s royalties. The writer is only entitled to his or her share of publishing income.


Since we have touched on the types of copyrights earlier, It will be easier to understand how royalties are split on sound recording and composition

    • Composer. The composer is the author of the song’s melody and lyrics. A composer might also be responsible for any additional instrumentation or arrangements added to a song. The publisher receives 50% of all royalties earned from a composition copyright, while the writer gets 50%.
    • Writer. A writer is anyone who writes lyrics for a song and receives publishing rights as part of their contract with a publisher (see below). In some cases, these two roles are combined in one person the lyricist/composer and they will receive both shares of ownership in their work.
    • Publisher. Publishing rights pertain to works that have been recorded by someone other than themselves; these include songs written by artists as well as non-musical works like books and screenplays for TV shows or movies that have been adapted into musicals (e.g., Annie). When an artist records one of your songs without having obtained your permission first, this constitutes “copyright infringement” because they’ve used your creation without acquiring legal permission to do so.


There are different types of royalties depending on what rights you have to a particular song

When it comes to songwriting, there are many different types of royalties. The first type is called mechanical royalties and covers the use of music on CDs and in other forms of sound recordings. For a songwriter or composer to receive these royalties, they must be registered with one or more performing rights organizations (PROs) in their territory before the work is published.

There are also performance royalties which cover any public performances of your work through radio play or TV broadcasting that don’t fall into the category of mechanical rights licensing such as live concerts, festivals etc…


How are sound recording royalties split into a song “Producer Points” is a term you’ll come across if you are researching how your royalties are split. They are the percentage of the royalties the producer of your song is going to get from your sound recording royalties. It’s usually major record deals that work with this point system. If you are an indie musician, you probably won’t need to worry about that. Producers typically get anything from 3 to 7 Producer Points. That means that if the artist gets, for example, 20% of the royalties in a record deal and the producer gets 5 points, the producer is getting 25% percent of the artist’s share of the royalties. That’s because 5 points equal 25% of the artist’s original 20%. The label still keeps 80%. For indie recordings, the system is usually based on the percentage of the net royalties, not on producer points. In an indie deal, the producer may get, for example, 20% or 25% of the artist’s net royalties. The result is not that different from the point system, where 5 producer points out of the artist’s 20 points equals 25%. The producer may also get an upfront fee for their recording services. This fee is negotiable and can vary depending on the producer’s percentage of the net royalties. If you have money for a larger upfront fee, say $2000, you may negotiate a smaller percentage of the net royalties for your producer. The same works if you don’t have that much money for the fee. You can negotiate a smaller upfront fee and a larger percentage of your net royalties to your producer.



We hope you have a better understanding of how royalties are earned and split. We tried to keep things simple, but there is so much more to learn about the music industry!

If you are an independent artist and you already know what are royalties in music, it’s time that you understand how are royalties split on a song. There are different categories of royalties in music, like Performance Royalties, Mechanical Royalties, and Sync Royalties. They can either be reserved for the songwriters and the publishers, or for the artists that played on the master and producer. In some cases, the same royalties go to both parties. If you are the only songwriter of your music and you record and produce it on your own, the royalties are all yours! You own 100% of it. However, if there are more people involved in the making of your art, you should probably know how your royalties will be split.