Q: What is Jack Russell Music?
A: Jack Russell Music is an independent publisher, partnering with writers to administer their publishing catalogues. Our flexible style allows us to offer high quality songwriter services, without you surrendering your artistic rights.
Q: What does Jack Russell Music do as your Publishing Administrator?
A: Jack Russell Music administers all the rights to the songs you have written, collecting and distributing the monies to you when your compositions are used commercially.
Q: What services does Jack Russell Music provide?
A: The following four main services:
Collection and delivery of royalties
Publishing advice – legal assistance or referrals
Registration of copyrights and organising catalogues
Royalty tracking – finding unallocated monies and matching these so you receive payment.
Q: What is the advantage of seeking a Publishing Administrator?
A: We can save you time, money and stress. Administering the copyright and making all the necessary claims with the societies is complex and time consuming. It can also be expensive if you want to set up systems worldwide to collect your royalties. Jack Russell can alleviate this workload through our systems and experience.
Q: Why should I choose Jack Russell Music?
A: Jack Russell Music’s strength lies in a personal approach and a positive attitude towards publishing collections. We have over 20 years’ experience managing approximately 1000 clients, handling their publishing requirements including registration, liaising with societies and distributing the revenue on time every quarter.
Q: What is your background?
A: Jack Russell Music was founded by Clare Ram in 2007. Clare’s previous experience came from a long tenure with Greensleeves Publishing, where she started work in 1987. Initially working in accounts, she progressed into the publishing side of the business, eventually running the administration side of their burgeoning catalogue. She brings a wealth of music publishing knowledge and experience to Jack Russell Music and leads a strong, motivated team, eager to provide a first class 21st century publishing service.
Q: Will you pitch my music?
A: Jack Russell Music is primarily an administrator and we do not offer plugging services; however if you partner with us, we will be happy to help advise on promotion where we can, and refer you to the right people to assist with this area of your business. We will also share briefs with you for synch that we receive via our sub-publishers and partners. Our synch partners include Café Concerto, Cuesongs and ThinkSync Music.
Q: What is the standard term of your admin agreement?
A: Our agreement term is a standard 3 years because this is usually the minimum contract period for any royalties to start to accrue and filter through from the performing rights organisations. A shorter term would not allow us to both mutually benefit from the receipts of overseas revenues which can take up to 18 months to start appearing post registration.
Q: How are royalties split with you on a song registration?
A: The standard splits for registration are the publisher collects 100% of Mechanicals and 50% of the Performance revenues – the Publisher Share. You collect 50% of Performance directly via your writer membership and we account the Publisher’s Share to you minus our commission. If you are not a member of a performing rights organisation such as PRS, ASCAP or BMI, we recommend you join as soon as possible – we can assist you with this process as required.
Q: How often will you be distributing royalties to me?
A. This will be set out in your agreement. Our standard is normally quarterly in line with the distribution policies of many UK broadcasters. We receive sub publishing revenue from overseas partners every six months. Our statements are comprehensive and provide you with the full detail of usages.
GETTING ROYALTIES – FAQs
Q: What is the difference between Performing Right royalties, Mechanical royalties and Synchronisation royalties?
A: Performing Right royalties are paid when a song or musical piece is performed in public, whether live or in a recorded version. Mechanical royalties are generated when a song or piece of music is reproduced, in any recorded format (stream, download, vinyl or CD manufacture etc). Synchronisation royalties come from the licences (“Syncs”) that are granted to use a song or piece of music in a soundtrack of any sort (be it online, in film, in a TV show or an advertisement).
Q: How can I make sure I am getting my publishing royalties?
A: In the case of publishing royalties, a songwriter may have a little difficulty if they are just relying on the copyright societies (e.g. BMI, PRS, ASCAP, SESAC, SOCAN etc.). As a publisher, we are in a better position to collect overseas monies. This is because Jack Russell have 21 sub-publishers in different territories worldwide, who collect from their respective Mechanical and Performance societies.
Without these sub-publishers, your songs would not be registered around the world as accurately, resulting in a loss of publishing monies from sale of the recordings or broadcast. The details of our sub-publishers are listed here.
Q: What happens if my song is being played on the radio, TV or the Internet?
A: Radio airplay is considered a public performance. Public performances generate Performance royalties for songwriters, which are collected by the Performing Rights Organisations (PROs) – these include ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Jack Russell Music will assist you to join a PRO and make sure your song is registered, so that you are eligible to receive royalties. The societies monitor plays across streaming services (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube etc.) and pay out publishing royalties. They also manage this type of tracking when your music is played on radio, TV or film.
Q: How do I know if my music is being played and how can it be tracked?
A: The responsibility of assessing the number of plays is usually managed by the broadcasters and the PROs; the details of which are provided where possible on your statements. If you wish to track radio play independently and send that to us for tracking purposes, WARM Music is a great service to use and isn’t too expensive: https://warmmusic.net/
Q: When do I receive royalties from airplay on radio, TV or film?
A: Usually, for domestic income it takes at least nine to twelve months from the airplay date to the date of payment. The amount of time varies considerably, depending where your track was played and what performing rights organisation (PRO) you are a member of (e.g. BMI, PRS, SOCAN, ASCAP, JACAP).
As a general rule, if your music is not played in the country where your PRO resides, you will eventually receive your direct royalties; however international royalty collection and payment takes longer. PROs pay publishers throughout the year. As we are based in the UK, when your tracks get played, we receive the money relatively quickly (around 6 months).
We distribute your royalties to you 4 times a year. Your UK radio royalties will appear on your statement approximately 6 months after the date the song was played. Royalty rates vary hugely across different radio stations. Please refer to the FAQ below on how much you will earn.
For payment dates, you can check the PRO websites - see these links:
PRS (For UK bank accounts, the minimum payment £30, except in the December Quarter. For overseas it is £60)
BMI (minimum payment $250)
Q: What happens if I don’t receive any royalties for my broadcasts?
A: First of all, you need to wait 12 months in order to give the PROs time to process the information from the broadcasters and match their playlists with the registrations of your songs.
Sometimes broadcasts can be reported, but the PRO is unable to match the details to the registrations on their database. In this scenario, the royalties are held in the society’s suspense account until a claim is made. At Jack Russell Music, we pride ourselves in locating these unpaid royalties (which may be due to a spelling error or the wrong credit on a cue sheet) and matching them for you.
When you’ve given it a year after the broadcast was aired and still have not received any publishing royalties, get in touch and we can take a look into the issue for you. If you have specific broadcast details (stations, times and days of play), this can really help in making enquiries regarding payment.
Q: How much will I earn in royalties from radio play?
A: PROs calculate royalties based on the station’s music budget, the size of listenership (the more people that listen, the more you can expect to receive), and the length of the play. PRS for Music is unique in providing per minute values for all stations in the UK. If you are a member, you can find out more by logging in to their website here to obtain this information – please note all rates are provided as gross revenue before any splits and publisher commissions.
Q: Why am I not receiving Mechanicals for my release?
A: If you have a release, please tell us, so we can check that the product has been licensed correctly by the label in the appropriate territory. We will require the artist name, product title, territory of release, release date, format and catalogue number to make a successful claim with the societies. We can back claim up to 6 years in the UK on mechanical releases, 5 years in Spain and 3 years in most other territories. Please let us know any additional releases in this time frame. Whilst we can back claim on older releases, please note initial sales may be excluded if beyond the statutory periods set out above.
Q: I know my songs have been played on smaller radio/TV stations but there are no royalties coming through - why?
A: While larger radio stations pay for every song on every day, some smaller stations only pay for songs played on sample days. In other words, some radio stations only submit track-listings on a few days in a month because the value of their annual licence with the society does not warrant daily reporting. In this scenario, royalties are only paid out to the writers of the tracks played on that day. Some stations may not be licensed at all, so these will not generate any royalties. In some smaller territories, sampling of stations is a standardised practice.
Q: How do you find out how many times a song is being played and where, when you only have the titles and not the recording itself?
A: Each song is given a unique number when it is registered with the societies and when the broadcasters submit their playlists/cue sheets, the songs are linked at the society and monies are distributed accordingly (see ‘What is a Tunecode or Work Number/ID in the ‘Copyright FAQ’). The broadcasters determine how many times the song is played and add it to their society submissions. We do not need the recording – publishing monies are distributed according to the song title, not the actual recording. If your recording is licensed to a label, you will receive mechanical income based on the number of units manufactured or sold. Publishers collect on behalf of writers. Do not be confused with labels who collect on behalf of the artist - recording and publishing are separate functions.
Q: What can I do to increase my radio royalties?
A: Your songs should be on rotation for more than three months, played on legal radio stations or TV. If you have a release campaign and budget, you can hire a radio plugger to pitch your music to radio stations. Please bear in mind that this can be costly and does not always guarantee results in terms of what you have paid for the service vs gain in royalties.
Q: How do I collect overseas publishing royalties?
A: A songwriter may have a little difficulty if they are just relying on the PROs - a publisher is in a better position to collect overseas royalties. As we are UK based, we have a network of sub-publishers, who administer our tracks around the world. These companies pay us twice a year, so the revenue will take time to come through. Additionally, if you have had a previous publisher, it is possible we are working out disputes with them on your behalf – this can slow down our collection of your royalties.
It may seem obvious, but your statement will only indicate songs that have monies accrued up to our accounting period. Other songs will not be listed although we do have them registered.
Q: What happens to the payment of royalties if a songwriter dies?
A: The person designated in the will to receive monies from the estate will be in the position to arrange successor membership for royalties with the deceased writer’s PRO.
Q: What is the United States Controlled Composition Clause?
A: The Controlled Composition Clause is an American device where the labels (or PROs) cap mechanicals - it is standard practice for them to only pay publishers 75% of the royalties instead of 100%. Composers have little to no power not to agree, as that is how the system works in the USA. Only when an artist becomes a big multi-platinum success, is there an opportunity to leverage more than 75% in this territory.
Q: I know my songs have been streamed, but there are no royalties coming through. Why?
A: This is either because the amounts have not reached a threshold which triggers payment, or, because not enough time has passed for the royalties to be collected and distributed to you. Don’t forget that royalties, such as those for streaming, can be very low and thus it takes longer to pass the society threshold for payment. In these cases, the royalties keep accruing until the threshold is cleared and funds can be distributed. Some streaming platforms may not even be licensed, although all larger providers generally are,
Read a very good article on streaming / publishing royalties here.
Q: I want to claim my artist profile on Spotify. How do I do it?
A: It's very simple. Please follow the link below:
Q: What are some of the current streaming rates?
A: According to this analysis in 2017 by Mixmag:
Spotify generated $0.0038-$0.0075 per stream in 2016/17
Apple Music has a per-stream rate of $0.0064 – $0.0120
YouTube only pays out only $0.00060-$0.0015 per view
There is little data available for Amazon at the moment, as their streaming service is still in its infancy.
To put it simply - if your track has 10,000 plays on those platforms it generates:
Spotify = Max. of $38.00-$75.00
Apple Music = Max. of $64.00-$120.00
YouTube = Max. of $6.00-$15.00
This money then needs to be split between all rights owners. Please note the figures in this analysis are subject to change.
Q: Do you have any recent examples of income differences between streaming services?
A: A recent US top ten hit earned one artist $149,000 in three years in Performance royalties. The radio performance with 347,820 spins accrued $53,000.
Some interesting statistics from that report showed an in-car streaming service like Sirius XM paid $765 for 1509 streams. Other larger services like Pandora paid just $278 for 38,225,700 streams and YouTube paid $218.17 for 34,220,900.
Q: Does YouTube pay Performing Rights royalties? If it does, would they be paid to the relevant PRO?
A: Yes it does - the payment should generally be made to the performing rights organisation in the territory that the video is viewed in. We have a relationship with one of our partners (The Royalty Network), who ensure we collect as much as possible from this revenue source. If we have ISRC codes for your tracks, then it makes it easier for this revenue to be collected.
Q: How are concert royalties that are collected by PRS in the UK distributed?
A: Previously under the Popular Music tariff at PRS, there was no distinction for music performed by a concert headliner or that of a support act. Royalties were simply divided based on the duration of the work, not the prominence of the act on the bill. This did not reflect how the majority of concert goers purchase tickets, where most made the choice to attend based on who the headliner was. The new distribution policy changes reflect this, and for all concerts which take place from 1 January 2019 PRS will:
Allocate 80% of a concert’s royalties to music performed by the headline act, and the remaining 20% will be allocated to music performed by the support acts.
Within these two groups, the allocation for each musical work will then be determined by the relative performance duration of each work.
From June 2018 forwards, PRS has charged a royalty based on 4% of the gate from venues for popular music concerts.
Q: What about festival Performance royalties collected by PRS?
A: The changes above do not affect the current policy for festival performances i.e. PRS divides the allocation of royalties for each festival between the stages based on capacity, and then allocates each payment to the acts who performed.
COPYRIGHT – FAQs
Q: How do I copyright my songs?
A: The law says that as soon as you have “fixed” your song(s) in a recorded version or copy, then your copyright automatically follows. Nevertheless, it is suggested that you register your copyright. See Getting Published FAQ.
Q: How do JRM register my songs?
A: You should register yourself with one of the PROs and obtain a CAE (Composer-Author-Editeur) number which is unique to you. Jack Russell will register your interest in the works to ensure you are being fairly paid for your music in a timely manner. Societies are not pro-active in terms of seeking missing information to make song payments. JRM will be responsive in ensuring the societies have the relevant information in advance of broadcast and release, so there are no revenue gaps.
Q: What is a Tunecode or Work Number/ID?
A: Each song is given a unique number when it is registered with the societies. When the radio and TV stations submit their cue sheets, the songs are linked at the society and monies are distributed accordingly. We do not need the recording for tracking. Publishing monies are normally distributed according to the song title not the recording. If your recording is licensed to a label, you will receive mechanical income from us via the PROs.
Q: What are the different types of music rights?
A: Mechanical Right: the right to reproduce your song by mechanical means on a sound carrier such as vinyl, CD, DVD, downloads and streaming. These rights are managed by MCPS or an overseas equivalent.
Performance Right: the right to broadcast your song via radio play, TV usage, live performance, downloads and streaming. These rights are managed by PRS or an overseas equivalent.
Neighbouring Right: related to the public performance of master recordings. Typically, the licence for these is handled by PPL or an overseas equivalent.
Master Right: the recording rights (separate from neighbouring rights). Usage of these rights for synch is managed by the master owner. The master owner also controls the right to monetise YouTube usage.
Grand Right: the right to perform musical compositions within the context of a dramatic work i.e. stage performances such as musical theatre and concert dance. This right also covers arrangements of music from a dramatic work. The payment of revenues for this right is managed by the producer of the show directly with the composer.
Small Right: the right to use interpolated music and incidental music within a dramatic presentation that is not specifically written for the production. PRS (or their overseas equivalents) administer these rights on behalf of the writers and publishers.
Q: Should I be logging into my society account and registering any amendments?
A: You are welcome to log in and make observations, but if we are administering your catalogue, we will make revisions to any repertoire and submit all new registrations on your behalf. This allows us to eliminate any errors causing difficulties in royalty flow. Please keep us informed regarding all your new compositions, so we are up to date with your catalogue.
Q: What is a copyright society / PRO?
A: The royalty collection is undertaken by PROs of which Jack Russell Music and our partners are members. These societies include mechanical societies (who collect the publisher’s right for using the song on a physical pressing) such as MCPS and Harry Fox. They also include Performance bodies like PRS, ASCAP and BMI, who collect airplay revenues from radio, TV, live and all other types of public performance. There is also PPL and similar neighbouring rights societies around the world who collect artist revenue from radio and television on behalf of the performer and master owner (expressly excluding film and advertising where those rights on commissioned music are specifically bought out).
Q: If I am an American writer, which society should I choose?
A: This is a matter of personal preference. There are three to choose from – BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. In recent years SESAC’s joining policy has been restricted to larger earning writers. ASCAP remains the default society where your works will be registered if you are a non-US writer, unless you specify BMI in the registration.
Q: Should I always copyright my works?
A: You are not obliged to do this – some composers choose to send a registered, sealed letter to themselves or deliver materials to a solicitor. If you do release your material (see Digital Distribution section), whilst it doesn’t protect your copyright, the release date does at least provide a form of marking an approximate date of creation and delivery to the public. It is recommended to register your work at the society (via JRM if we are your publisher). This again provides supporting evidence towards a creation date, should details be required in any legal proceedings.
Q: Am I entitled to publishing royalties from sampled or remixed recordings of my songs?
A: Yes, you are entitled to a share of the publishing and the master (if the original master is used and you own it). If an artist has recorded a straightforward version of your song, this is known as a cover. The standard process for this is that they will credit the work on the label copy of a release and/or a set list and you will be paid the publishing royalty accordingly. If they have created a new song but used elements of your original work in that piece, this is considered to be a publishing sample. A publishing sample is subject to your approval and you have the right to reject the use if you wish. Should you wish to approve the sample, we can help negotiate a share of the publishing on your behalf. If you own the master and that has been sampled, we again can liaise with the label to reach a fair deal for the usage.
Q: I’m using the lyrics/music of a song by a deceased writer – do I need to gain permission to use it?
A: Yes, unless your version of the lyrics/music was written and published over 70 years after the death of the last living writer. This is the international standard for length of copyright set, yet there are regional variations. See this document for a full list of territories and the length of copyright protection.
Q: When amendments are made to registrations at a society, what is the expected turnaround time until the changes reflect on the repertoire search?
A: You should ideally query this with your society, but as a general rule of thumb, you should expect to see changes between 30 and 60 days. It depends on how many parties have to approve the update, how quickly they respond and what the current processing times of the society are. If it is a straightforward revision where there are no additional parties (i.e. other publishers), the turnaround will be quicker. If there is a conflict on shares, this will need to be resolved by all parties before the registration can be completed. Societies will ask for supporting documentation. If only one party sends the information within the society timeframe, the registration will be amended in their favour. Should all parties provide information and there is still a conflict, the society will freeze the registration and suspend revenues until the parties resolve the dispute mutually.
Q: What about American Copyright Law & The Library of Congress?
A: If you have an American copyright, responsible Original Publishers in this territory will have registered this with the US Library of Congress. The Copyright Act includes two sets of rules for published works. If an artist or author sold a copyright before 1978 (Section 304), they or their heirs can request a reversion of rights 56 years later. If the artist or author sold the copyright during or after 1978 (Section 203), they can terminate the publisher’s rights after 35 years.
Q: What are the different types of Publishing Agreement?
A: Writer to Publisher:
Exclusive Songwriter Agreement - This covers works written during the period of the agreement and can include previously written but unpublished works.
Specific Agreement - This only covers one specific work or list of specific works in the writer’s repertoire.
Part-Catalogue Agreement - This covers part of a writer’s catalogue but not all works. This could include a collection of works by a particular group, or works of a certain origin.
Work For Hire - A work made for hire is a work subject to copyright that is created by an employee as part of his or her job – i.e. a composer employed by a company. A publisher may also agree terms with a freelance composer to write a bespoke piece of music under Work For Hire terms i.e. the publisher will own the track and the writer will receive just the Writer Share on Performance for the production. Occasionally the parties may also agree a royalty for secondary usage of the material in other future productions.
Publisher to Publisher:
Admin Agreement - The Original Publisher licenses the material to the Administrator, who registers the works and collects the revenue at an agreed rate for a set number of years. An administrator will also advise on business deals and look at options for exploitation of the catalogue.
Collection Agreement - This is similar to an Admin Agreement but is specifically designed to just collect and distribute revenue, without any advisory or exploitation services.
Co-Publishing Agreement - The songwriter co-owns the copyright (usually via their own company) of the material with the publisher. It is common in this scenario for the composer to collect their ‘Writer Share’ (50%), plus 50% of the ‘Publisher Share’ (25%), leaving 25% for the co-publisher to collect directly.
Sub-Publishing Agreement - This is an agreement between a domestic publisher and another in a foreign territory. Sub-publishing agreements are similar to administration deals but usually limit collection to a set number of territories. A songwriter signed to an original publisher will usually receive their overseas publishing income based on net receipts, which will follow deductions by any foreign sub-publishers, who act on the original publisher’s behalf in the designated territories.
Purchase Agreement - A music publisher acquires a whole or part of a catalogue from another music publisher, with due diligence undertaken as standard to ascertain the value of the sale.
LIVE MUSIC – FAQs
Q: I’m playing some live gigs. How can I get paid for the songs I play?
A: You should submit your set lists as soon as possible to your local PRO (this is your responsibility and does not fall under the duties of a publisher). For example, if you are a member in the UK, you can report live sets to PRS For Music – see further information here.
Q: Will I get royalties for gigs I’ve already played?
A: You can. Depending on the PRO that you are affiliated with, you can go back, in some cases, up to a year. Please check your PRO’s website.
Q: How much will I receive for each gig?
A: It depends on various factors: the size of the gig, the ticket price and whether you’re headlining. Basically, the higher the gate revenue, the larger your royalty return will be (see Royalty FAQs for further live performance royalty information).
Q: Will my local pub or bar be charged if I claim for a gig there?
A: They should already have a live music licence, so your royalty will come out of funds set aside by the societies for that purpose.
Q: Can I collect royalties for cover versions I’ve performed?
A: No, only for songs that you’ve written or co-written, although you should include covers that you perform in your set list returns, so that the original songwriter(s) and publishers will benefit.
Q: Do I get a royalty for every performance?
A: Yes, if the venue is licensed and if you submit your set lists. Please note smaller venues and pubs will yield a lesser return than larger venues.
Q: What about live recordings on YouTube and other channels?
A: You will be entitled to royalties for these, though please see the FAQ on YouTube royalties above for an indication on remuneration.
Q: Who can submit the set lists?
A: It is much quicker if you submit your own set lists directly (in the UK, that will be to PRS for Music). Relying on promoters or third parties can be risky. Jack Russell Music do not manage live returns for you.
Q: Are all performances reported in the same way?
A: Depending upon which PRO you are a member of, you will find separate forms or links to report major live events and festivals, gigs and clubs, and overseas concerts.