You have likely come across reference to mechanical royalties in researching revenue streams for music. Perhaps you are like me and at first had no idea what these were or how to get them. I would wager most artists do not even know that they are owed mechanical royalties and that they have money sitting somewhere out there in the abyss.
When you have written or own the copyright to a song (musical work “composition”) you have six legal rights in relation to that copyright.
The royalty money from the right of reproduction is called a “mechanical royalty”.
This money is totally separate from the money paid out to you through your distributor (Distrokid, CD Baby, Tunecore, etc…).
Mechanical royalties are paid out to the owner or owners of the copyright for a musical work or composition. If you write your own music, then this is you.
Your PRO (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, etc…) does not collect your mechanical royalties.
Your distributor does not collect your mechanical royalties. Some distributors do offer publishing admin services however you have to opt-in and pay for this additional service.
You must either do this yourself, which most artists likely won’t be able to do due to bureaucratic BS and lack of interest and effort by music services to establish infrastructure to deal with these payments. OR you must sign up with a 3rd party go-between service (who of course takes a fee) such as Audiam, Songtrust, or the Harry Fox Agency.
Dear friends who have had success on Spotify or other streaming platforms, please go get your money. Look into these three services to collect your mechanicals:
As of November 2019 the US mechanical royalty rate for a stream on Spotify was $0.0005390232 per stream.
That is $539 for 1 million streams.
Founder of @lostharbormusic