I thought I should emphasize this: PROs in the USA do not collect mechanical royalties (!)
If you are registerd with BMI, ASCAP or SESAC, you should register with some institution collecting mechanicals. Mechanical royalties are smaller than performance but in some cases they can be surprisingly high. I have heard about 5 digit payments of cumulative mechanicals (yep, $$$$$ ! ).
By the way, this is how Songtrust finds extra cash for composers registered in the US.
However, if you are registered with e.g. European PROs, you should be ok, they collect mechanicals (or at least should do it)
OK, I just downloaded a CSV file with more details from my PRO, and I can see now that the TikTok money consisted of BOTH mechanical and performance royalties.
The payout per view is absolutely tiny, probably not even 1% of what YouTube pays… But, the CSV shows me I had 1+ billion uses. That’s BILLION with a B. That was for the entire year of 2021, so future payments will likely be lower, as they catch up to 2023-2024.
I have no idea how correct that is, nor how it’s calculated, but I’ll take it. In my distributor account, they show a smaller number of “impressions + views”, maybe calculated differently…
It’s not crystal clear, but at least we can get paid more now than before.
Yes, the best thing you can do for yourself as a composer.
I forgot to mention that so far I have only gotten paid from Europe/Asia/Africa - not the Americas. I don’t know if that will happen, or what’s going on, but it will probably be calculated in a different way I suppose.
And one more thing. I was wondering who collects these royalties? Is a deal between TikTok and each PRO?
And also, I know that Youtube pays PRO royalties only for the views made in country of PRO. E.g. BMI receives Youtube payments for the views only from the US. If you are with BMI but your video has been watched e.g. in Poland, ZAIKS should transfer the royalties to BMI as an international payment. However, this rarely happen, because:
PROs (especially small) have problem with tracking and matching videos with composers
each video has to exceed the international payment threshold set to e.g. 1$ (you may have millions of videos which collected 0,90$ but they will not sum up and reach the threshold = you will get nothing!)
many countries does not have efficient PROs, so royalties from Asia or Africa are not efficiently collected
But if TikTok royalties are so high… maybe all royalties go to one composer’s PRO, instead of dividing them into countless numbers of local PRO?
Well, I don’t know everything, but I think this deal was actually made by ICE Services, which is a licensing hub used by some of the bigger PROs in Europe (PRS, GEMA, STIM, etc.).
I read it’s one of the first deals like this, so I wouldn’t be surprised if smaller PROs like ZAIKS don’t get those royalties yet. But I do not know. Maybe ASCAP and BMI don’t get those royalties yet either.
I got paid for YouTube use from countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Mostly from European countries, but Asia and Africa show up in my list with a few bucks…
I don’t know how the money is sent out, but I can see the usage based on each country at least.
And I wouldn’t say TikTok royalties are high (again, only 1% of YouTube), it’s the VIEWS that CAN be incredibly high. If you only have a million views, you won’t get much.
Here’s a link to PRS where they mention the ICE deal: