skip to main content

Royalties for Music Writers

How unpublished composers and songwriters can receive fees and royalties due to them from the use of their works.

Last updated: 24 March 2021

By joining collection societies PRS (Performing Rights Society) and MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society), unpublished composers and songwriters can receive fees and royalties due to them from the use of their works.

PRS collect money for the broadcast (airplay) and public performance (in clubs, bars and so on) of works that have been registered with them. MCPS collects the licence fees due from the record company whenever registered music is reproduced for products such as CDs and digital downloads.

This additional source of royalty income is separate from the ‘artist’ royalty the record company is required to pay directly to the artists featured on the record under their recording contract. If, as is often the case, the songwriter and the artist are the same person, the record company will end up paying two different royalties to that particular member.

Both PRS and MCPS have agreements with affiliate organisations in 150 countries meaning that they are able to collect fees and royalties from around the world.