Royalty Collection Societies were set-up many years ago to collect royalties on behalf of mainstream artists. Each country (territory) has their own. They cover and collect royalties for performance of music and mechanical duplications.
There are so many music uses these days that online video, music on hold and shop promos for example can now also be classed as performances. For this reason, royalty collecting societies have an obligation to charge music license fees for these uses. This can cause a conflict of interest when composers allow online libraries to also facilitate licensing of their music.
For example, in the case of on hold music or tradeshow music, a royalty collecting society may try to collect performance royalties that have already been covered by the music library. In my experience, when the collecting society can see that the composer has entered into a direct agreement with a library they respect this and clear music use on a case-by-case basis.
After all, the royalty collecting societies are acting in the interests of composers and would not want to harm their income.
Our license agreement allows us to sell licenses for the majority of music uses without you having to pay further fees to royalty collecting societies. There are exceptions though such as TV and Radio broadcast whereby the producer / broadcaster will pay an annual license to the relevant collecting society for broadcasting programmes containing composers music. Learn more about our royalty free music uses.
You may also be interested in a recent post we did about What is a Performance Royalty Organization? which lists some of the many royalty collection societies around the world responsible for collecting performance royalties.
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