Do you play live shows? If the answer is yes, you might be able to collect performance royalties from your live performances. Venues, bars, and restaurants pay licensing fees to Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) which allows them to play songs, or have songs performed by artists in their establishments. Depending on the live performance, PROs may pay out performance royalties to songwriters and publishers.
How do I collect performance royalties generated from my live performances?
Submitting your setlists and other performance information will ensure that your PRO is able to pay you royalties generated by your live performance. Most PROs have information on their site explaining how to submit setlists and input other live performance information. The process varies depending on your PRO, but they generally have you complete and submit a form with basic information about your performance including but not limited to date and time, location, and a setlist.
You only need to submit one setlist with your PRO for each performance. If you have a co-writer that is affiliated with a different PRO than you, then your co-writer will need to submit one setlist to their PRO as well.
Note: CD Baby does not submit setlists from live performances, nor are we able to provide you with information about the status of your setlist submission.
Are all live performances eligible to earn performance royalties?
No. Only certain types of live performances generate performance royalties. There are many factors that dictate whether your live performance is eligible, and these factors vary depending on which PRO you are affiliated with, and which country you are performing in.
In most cases, classical music performances are handled differently than non-classical music performances.
When and how much will I get paid for my live performance?
When you get paid depends on when you submit your setlist and performance information, and how the submission date lines up with your PROs distribution cycle.
The amount of royalties generated will vary depending on the venue. Venues with larger capacity pay higher licensing fees, so those show will generate more royalties than shows played at venues with a smaller capacity. If a venue is too small, it may not generate any performance royalties.
Note: CD Baby cannot advise on which performances are eligible or how much a live performance will generate in performance royalties; you should consult your PRO for specifics.
The setlist submission process varies depending on which Performance Rights Organization (PRO) you are affiliated with. PROs tend to have different requirements around which performances are eligible to earn performance royalties, as well as when setlists need to be submitted.
*The CD Baby Pro Publishing service was discontinued as of August 8th, 2023. Any paid release which was signed up for CD Baby Pro Publishing prior to August 8th, 2023 is considered a legacy Pro release and will continue to receive Pro Publishing services. CD Baby now offers a new expanded suite of revenue amplifiers called “CDB Boost” instead.