Revenue Streams: Existing, Expanded and New

As part of this project, we have cataloged the revenue streams available to US-based musicians, composers and performers based on the contours of copyright law and business practice. On this page, we take this same list of revenue streams and organize them into three categories.

Click on the (+) sign for details. Prefix key.


Revenue streams or rights that have been in existence for more than 15 years.

C. Publisher Advance
C. Commissions
C. Composing Original Works for Broadcast
C. Sheet Music Sales
C. ASCAPLUS Awards Program
C. Publisher Settlement
P. Salary as Member of Orchestra or Ensemble
P. Shows/Performance Fees
R. Record Label Advance
R. Record Label Support
R. Sales at Shows
R. AFM/Secondary Markets Fund
R. AFM/Sound Recording Special Payments
R. AFTRA Contingent Scale
S. Session Musician/Sideman Fees for Studio Work
S. Session Musician/Sideman Fees for Live Work
K. Music Teacher
K. Producer
K. Honoraria or Speakers Fees
B. Merchandise Sales
B. Fan Club
B. Persona Licensing
B. Product Endorsements
B. Acting
B. Sponsorship
B. Grants
O. Arts Administrator

Existing revenue streams or rights that have expanded or now include new uses, usually because of digital platforms or services.

C. Mechanical Royalties
C. Public Performance (PRO) Royalties
C+R. Synch Licenses
C. Lyric Display
R. Retail Sales
R. Neighboring Rights Royalties

Revenue steams or rights that have been created in the past 15 or so years, usually because of the emergence of digital platforms and technologies.

C. Streaming Mechanical Royalties
C. Mechanical Royalties for Cloud Storage, Lockers, Limited Uses
C+R. Ringtones Revenue
R. Digital Sales
R. Cloud Storage Payments
R. Interactive Service Payments
R. Digital Performance Royalties
R. AARC Royalties
R. Label Settlements
R. AFM/AFTRA Payments
B. YouTube Partner Program
B. Ad Revenue
B. Fan Funding

Prefix Key
C: songwriter or composer-related income
P: performer-related income
R: sound recording or recording artist-related income
S: session or freelancer income
K: teacher or knowledge of craft
B: branding or merchandise
O: other