Music videos - where goes what money? at
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 10:12 AM   #1
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Music videos - where goes what money?


Got a question regarding music videos - I'd like to know who exactly earns money when a music video is shown on television. I'd like to learn about the way the money flows after the production has finished.

Obviously, as it's the artists's song, he/she is going to be paid some kind of royalties. But what about the filmmakers, like writer, director, etc? Unless they sold their rights to the footage, aren't they entiteld to receive a share of the pie as well?

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Old April 2nd, 2004, 08:07 PM   #2
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From what I understand, no one makes any royalties. Or at least not from MTV.

The writer director producer... charge a premium for their work. They get paid up front, no points. The crew gets hired like normal. The video is made, then released, and sent to stations. Mostly MTV, who does not pay royalties in the US, and is trying to get away from paying any elsewhere too.

The video is made as an advertising tool. I'm sure eventually, MTV will be CHARGING to play them.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 08:13 PM   #3
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Old April 20th, 2004, 12:45 AM   #4
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TV performance rights licensing, which includes MTV, VH1, etc. is handled by several organizations; ASCAP, SOCAN, etc. Briefly: the Performance Rights Licensing Organization determines how well their artists did on the broadcast-airplay charts (not sales) and calculates a yearly fee based on the market size of the broadcaster or station. A Boise station will pay a much lower fee than a Los Angeles station. Although royalties seem low at pennies per play for a small market, the yearly fee will still be roughly $20,000. Put that into MTV numbers, and your looking at millions per year.

The Orgs that collect then use the money to pay expenses etc. and whatís left over is distributed to the right holders, based on the individual artistís broadcast-airplay stats. Whether or not a music video director, producer, or whoever would get any of it would be determined by the video contract. If youíre new, forget it. If youíre a Wachowski, you could most likely get a reasonable percentage of the rights, say 15%.

The bad in all of this is that for folks that get some airplay, but not enough to chart, itís usually not worth the expense involved to collect royalties. Royalties really only become an issue once you have a hit. Itís worth joining one of the orgs now, if you think you may chart soon. Remember only the right holders (artists and writers) can join a Performance Rights Licensing Organization.
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