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Where does music creator's income come from?

This past weekend, Sound Royalties participated at the 2019 Nashville SyncSummit. SyncSummit aims to bring together the world’s top music creators, supervisors, managers, labels, publishers, ad agencies, and technologists, for two days of networking, discussion, and dealmaking.

This year, our Founder & CEO, Alex Heiche, delivered the keynote speech to kick off the music industry convention. The Summit welcomed several other influential speakers including, music supervisor of Format Entertainment, Anastasia Brown, Chris Mollere of Fusion Music Supervision, Jeff Van Driel, CEO of Mvibe, music supervisor and producer Rick Clark, Mick Lloyd, SVP of Licensing at eOne, and many more.

In case you missed it, we wanted to break down some of the insights and trends that Alex shared with the conference. Read on for exclusive highlights from his keynote.

The Modern Days of Music Royalties.

“The Modern Days of Music Royalties”
by Alex Heiche

Being in the business of music royalties, it is striking to see the number of people – music creatives and business people alike – who don’t understand many aspects of the royalty system. With the complexities of the varying revenue streams available, there is a huge number of creatives that are leaving money on the table by not collecting all of their streams.

This is part of the mission of Sound Royalties and our entire team – to educate the creatives we work with on where they should be collecting, and in many cases, helping them take the necessary steps to do so.

I didn’t expect that we would become such a knowledgeable organization in the field of royalties, but because we work with both sides of the business, we see a huge wealth of data and dozens of types of streams, forcing us to understand the complexities of the royalty landscape.

As a Music Creator, Where Might You Be Leaving Money on the Table?


  • Often only collecting on performance and not sync and mechanical, which they would collect from an admin or a publisher.


  • Typically not collecting their digital performance royalties from SoundExchange.
  • For a producer to get their share, they need the artist to sign an authorization. This can be a difficult conversation if not handled early in the creation process.

Where does music creator's income come from?

This data shows that a creator’s revenue can vary largely by genre:

  • Rock music dominates the “Physical Album Sales” category at 43.6% of the music market. (Rock fans love owning a physical copy of the album!)
  • R&B/Hip-Hop dominates the total on-demand streams, both audio and visual, for 29.6% of the market share.
  • Surprisingly, Latin music’s streaming consumption is hovering at a much lower percentage of the market share – 7.3%.

Growth Trends

  • Latin: As the Latin market begins to increase their paid music subscriptions, this genre is seeing a surge in revenue growth.
  • Jazz, Classical and even Children’s music genres stand to grow more than other genres. In the past, these fanbases didn’t have many options to enjoy this music, but with streaming, they can now access the music at their fingertips.
  • Christian music also stands to grow more than other obscure genres like jazz and children’s music, simply because there are so many Christians in America. The more widespread streaming becomes, the more loyal Christian music fans will take advantage of the music access.

global music industry on-demand streaming royalties

So, just how many people skip to the next song before hitting the holy-grail of 30 seconds? This action has now been dubbed “Skip Rate”, and it’s a new conversation that music creatives are having every day about their music. If your skip rate is high, you’re not going to earn as much money through your streaming revenues.

the truth about digital music skip rates

Streaming is your #1 Money Maker – you need to know how to make your music to stay ahead of these numbers and beat the skip rate.

Quincy Jones once said, “You have 12 notes, what are you going to do with them?”
We can now say, “You have 30 seconds, what are you going to do with them?”

increases in royalty revenues

Royalties for streaming are expected to go up, and significantly. South America and India are missing in the Top 10 Music Markets list – to put this into perspective, there’s 600 Million people in Latin America. That’s twice as many people as there are in the US! There are 1.3 Billion people in India. That’s almost 5x as many people than the US!

Whether you’re an independent artist or a creative signed to a major label, you should know if you are collecting all of your earnings, and following along with the music trends. Our Royalty Specialists are skilled in finding uncollected royalties and forecasting royalty earnings for years to come. Call us today to speak with a member from our team at 844-4ALL-MUSIC.

References for Data and Graphs:
Nielsen Mid-Year Music Report 2019
RIAA Mid-Year Music Revenues Report 2019
IFPI Global Music Report 2019
Paul Lamere – Music Blogger – 2014