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What are royalties in the music business?

If your works are used, you, the creator or publisher, will receive payments; they are also known as royalties. In order to receive such royalties, you assign the exploitation rights for your musical pieces to us beforehand. This allows us to issue licences to event organisers and other music users and collect money for such licences.

Next, we distribute the money thus collected - after we have deducted the relevant administrative fees - in the form of royalties across the various categories.  Depending on where and by whom your works (i.e. your music or your lyrics) are used, you can receive royalties in the following categories:
  • Television, radio, film
  • Live, playback
  • Sound carriers, audiovisual recordings
  • Online
  • International income

Details on royalties and the individual categories can be accessed in our section Royalties.

In the GEMA distribution plan, GEMA members governed themselves how the income is split among the rightsholders (composers, lyricists and music publishers). 

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