How Music Royalties Work

music royalties
Do you know how does the artist made from their music? Zero Creatives / Getty Images

Watch MTV or open a copy of Rolling Stone or Spin and you'll be checking out some musical members of the entertainment elite. The clothes, the jewelry, the cars, the clubs, the houses... One might wonder where, exactly, all that money is coming from. How much does the artist make from CD sales?

Bars, clubs and coffee houses across the country are overflowing with fresh, talented musicians who want to join the ranks of these performers. But really, what are the chances of making it to stardom and retiring on music royalties?


Making money in the music industry is tricky. Recording contracts are notoriously complicated, and every big recording artist has a small army of legal representatives to translate and negotiate these deals. In this article, we'll look into the world of music royalties and see how money is actually made in this industry.