Music Royalties Simplified

December 11, 2023

+44 (0)116 253 0203

Whether you’re new to music distribution or several releases deep, you’ve probably heard the word Royalties before. Music royalties are a hot topic for all music professionals, whether they’re earning them or paying them out. But what exactly are royalties, how are they generated and are you entitled to any? We’re here to simplify all you need to know.

What is a royalty?

In short, in the world of music distribution, royalties are the payments made to music rights holders by Digital Service Providers (DSPs) every time your music is streamed or downloaded. A rights holder can be any one from you as an artist, to songwriters and record labels.

How are royalties generated?

Several factors influence how royalties are generated. The longer a song is played, the larger royalty it generates. Different locations pay different rates, so a song streamed in the UK might earn you more than it would in Canada. Premium and free streaming accounts also generate different amounts. As a result, it’s hard to predict exactly what you’ll earn from a single stream for a song. You can learn more about how and when streaming platforms pay out here.

What royalties do Horus Music collect?

It’s important to firstly understand that when a song is created, there are 2 types of copyright generated. The first is the master recording also known as the sound recording. This covers the actual recording of the specific track. The second is the publishing copyright, which covers the composition, including melody, lyrics, and the music itself. As a distribution company, Horus Music collects royalties generated by the sound recording/master copyright. Every time your release is downloaded or streamed, DSPs collect the money it generates, i.e a royalty. These royalties are collected by DSPs and then paid directly to us on specific payment cycles.

How and when are royalties paid out by Horus Music?

Royalties collected by Horus Music are paid out to you every month on the 15th. With Horus Music, you can choose to receive payments via PayPal or Convera. If you’re new to working with us, you can select your preferred payment method directly in My Music Distribution Zone. Simply go to Settings > Payments on the left-hand menu and you’ll be prompted to set up your preferred option.  

Where can I view my royalty reports and analytics?

Because royalties are so complex, it’s helpful to have all the available information at your disposal. Each platform sends us regular royalty reports for all releases we distribute. We make this data directly available to our artists and labels within My Music Distribution Zone. To view your analytics, you can select ‘Analytics’ in the left-hand menu in your My Music Distribution Zone profile.

Here you can view and download charts and tables breaking down what you’ve earned from each track, store, or territory, on a daily or monthly basis. You can also view and download your royalty statements by going to Payments > Payments Overview. It’s important to note that if you are new to Horus Music, it can take up to 3 months for your DSP payment cycles to line up. You will start to receive regular payments after this initial period. You will still be able to view your analytics during this time, which will give you an idea of what to expect from different DSPs.

What about my publishing royalties?

Now you know how your master royalties are paid, you might be wondering about your publishing royalties. As a distribution service, Horus Music only collects royalties for streams and downloads for each digital platform we deliver your music to. Currently, this is the collection of only master royalties, but you may have seen we will soon be launching our brand-new service Horus Music Publishing. Horus Music Publishing is a new administrative service dedicated to collecting publishing royalties, which are also generated from every stream and download. You can read more about Horus Music Publishing and how to claim your publishing royalties here.


If you have any queries relating to your royalty collection or reports with Horus Music, we’re on hand to discuss via email and phone. You can reach our accounts team here, or our distribution team here. We look forward to continuing to provide you with a transparent and reliable service.

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