How much a song writer who writes songs for other singers how much can they get?

 
       
 
Apr 01, 2018, 04:29 PM

How much a song writer who writes songs for other singers? How much do they get per song?

 
     
Michelle Marie Strebe Joined Apr 01, 2018
  • Rank

Send PM

 
Apr 02, 2018, 12:26 PM

Michelle,

You are paid in two ways. MECHANICALS (sales of physical product, CD’s, legal downloads, anything physical.)
And PERFORMANCES. (anytime the song is played on reporting terrestrial radio, major television, motion pictures, commercials, when it is PERFORMED.)

From there it gets very shaky because more and more music is simply FREE. People get and have gotten music for free for decades now. Everytime some law is put in to prevent some site from illegally putting music out there, ten thousand other sites pop up. Now we are in a “streaming” world, where you can get hundreds of millions of streams but they pay much less than working at the counter at McDonalds.

Basically it is VERY hard to make anything from music. It is why there are very FEW “CUTS” (songs being recorded by outside writers who are not either the artist themselves, or the tight inner circles of that artist. Most artists are now the writers on their songs and don’t even listen to outside songs.

The best thing you can do if you are interested in proceeding is build many relationships with many artists, write hundreds of songs and not worry as much about being paid. You have to do many many things long before any money will take place. Look at it as actors, screen writers directors, etc. They do thousands of projects before anything ever starts making money. And the money you will make will come from building a DEMAND for your product.

So how many sales are YOU responsible for? That is how much money you are going to make.

MAB

 
     
Avatar
MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank

Send PM

 
Apr 04, 2018, 06:06 PM

Over the years I wrote many songs,some even were pressed on records,being broadcasted over the radio and later on TV, but I never thought about money,because I did it for love for music.If somebody thinks to make money in this business,he or she has to have something out of the ordinary to produce or show, also and not last,has to have a tone of GOOD luck,beside being on the right place in the right time.Having the right connections also helps.  https://www.youtube.com/user/2137otto/videos

 
     
Avatar
Otto Kristen Joined Jul 26, 2006
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank

Send PM

 
Apr 04, 2018, 07:36 PM

In the 2000’s we entered the era of “mostly free” music. First illegal downloading, then Piracy groups, putting things on the Internet before they were even released by majors, then file sharing, now streaming, and also the ease of putting music on social network platforms, all have entered a sort of “perfect storm” of the value of songs themselves. This era also ushered in “artist branding” whereas the artist was the central focal point, not songs. The value of songs themselves plummeted, with most songs being streamed millions of times and paying almost nothing.

Artists, whose money has always been determined by performing and merchandising. (sales of hats, t-shirts, physical product.) now had virtually all the power and they also were the writers on the songs. So your question about “writers who write songs for other singers” now almost doesn’t happen anymore. Most writers are paired up with the artists and share in that. Also now there are four and sometimes five writers on a song including the artist. In Rap, hip hop, pop, you will find up to thirteen writers and multiple publishers. All trying to get part of less and less money.

I attended a concert last night during our “TIN PAN SOUTH” songwriter’s festival here in Nashville. On one of the shows was a very well known writer and star, MAC DAVIS. Mac has had a long career with cuts by Elvis Presley, his own hit records and television show in the 70’s, movies, like THE STING TWO, and other vehicles. He is a legend. Last night he played two lines from a recent hit he had, which was cut on the artist Bruno Mars, the huge pop star. He wrote those two lines, which comprised the HOOK of the song. There were five other writers and ten publishers, including the artist Bruno Mars, who owns the main publishing company.

That is reality now. Nobody is really making a lot of money. I’m sure Mac and Bruno will do okay on that since Mars is a huge international artist. But those are very few and far between. So again, before you start worrying about how much money to make, you better be working on finding artists at the beginning of their careers and working with them to develop what they do.

MAB

 
     
Avatar
MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank

Send PM

 
Apr 04, 2018, 08:12 PM

I liked Mac Davis and I sang few song of his.I always had great responds from audience with his “I believe in music”.I never missed his TV show.He also appeared in some movies,but not as a main figure.He must be close to my age.

 
     
Avatar
Otto Kristen Joined Jul 26, 2006
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank

Send PM

 
Apr 05, 2018, 06:47 AM

It depends - as “MAB” has pointed out.

Among other factors it depends on the country you’re referring to. I’m from Germany where conditions are actually quite good. Mainly because concert organizers are obliged to hand in the set lists so royalties can be determined (this actually only works for 50% of all live performances yet still is MUCH better than, say , in the US). As for live performances the paid out royalties depend on the entry fees and the size of the venues. The fees and royalties for Radio transmissons depend on their reach etc. Here are a few examples for my country (royalties for the songwriter, i.e. composer and lyricist together; the split woukld be 2/3 to 1/3 for live performances, 1/2 to 1/2 for other royalties):

live performance minimum: €6
radio broadcast (big station): €25
song on CD per copy: €0,08

internet: forget it ;-)

You can do the calculation for yourself: it’s peanuts in the end. If you don’t write for the fun of it you might just as well forget it.

Cheers,
Bernd

Bernd
good lyricist, mediocre songwriter, lousy musician;
likes rock, writes for anybody anyway
http://bernd-harmsen.com

 
     
Avatar
Bernd Harmsen Joined May 31, 2009
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank

Send PM

 
Apr 05, 2018, 09:03 AM

Bernd,

It is the same in the US as far as major radio, major concert promotions, etc. All those do pay fees, as does major radio. The problem is increasingly, due to many things, increased competition, and a “genie out of the box” world (free music is every where) more and more venues. promoters, radio, etc. don’t pay licencing fees. And the fees are coming down. Now I have had people from Germany come to Nashville complaining that they are seeing similar things in that their money is decreasing as well. I don’t know.

I always speak from the perspective of America and Nashville in particular, because that is what I am involved with. But we do get a LOT of people from other countries coming here (Tin Pan South week) attracts thousands from all over the world. Hard to go out and NOT meet someone from another country that is here, many of those writers and artists, so we get a lot of information from around the world as well. Also, I have a lot of friends who do some business touring Europe, Japan, Australia and they have mixed reporting as well.

So it is going to vary from geographical area, and a lot of people are going to have different experiences. There is a movement on for producers and musicians to start getting a percentage of the royalty pie. That is going to be interesting because there is just not much royalty pie out there to begin with.

My entire point to this person is that one of the questions newer and inexperienced writers start asking “first” is “How do we get paid for what we do?” And the conversation always seems to gravitate to money before they really understand very much of the world they are trying to enter. It’s very much like deciding to open a resturant without ever having prepared food, understand health codes, taxes, fees, locations, labor costs, buildings, advertising, electricity, plumbing, insurance, and all the other things involved in the food business. There are a lot of things involved. So I try to encourage people to get involved in the communities around them first, and learn about what people who have done this for a while go through. That is the only way to really learn. So that is my focus on all of these and similar posts.

Otto,

Mac is a very good guy and has a house here as well as a couple others in other cities so he spends time here. He has been very helpful in NSAI, helping promote the business gone to Congress to speak to representatives, and is a great representative for songwriters. I learned a lot that helps me today about writing songs off the cuff from watching his television show in the 70’s. He had a segment where he came out with a studio audience, they would toss out ideas or words and he would write a verse and a chorus off the cuff. Was a great example of how to assemble a “real” song in just a few seconds. Much like an Improv comic does or a very good actor, who can improvise, it is really cool to be able to do that. I do it almost every day, (My “Mic checks” are quick verses and choruses made up about people in the audience) and it helps me in working with other people to put songs together very quickly. When you only have a couple of hours to write something, you have to get something on the page. Then most of the time you go refine and re-write it later.
So Mac has had a great influence on not just me but an entire group of songwriters. The people in his “round” the other night all told a “Mac Davis” story, about the effects he had on their lives. They are all hit writers so it was great for Mac and the audience to see how one person can have such a direct effect on people.

MAB

MAB

 
     
Avatar
MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank
  • Rank

Send PM