Online music site LastFM has finally launched the royalty payment program they announced in January. The company will start paying out royalties to unsigned and independent bands that upload their music to the site…eventually.
The landing page for the program says that it hasn’t actually launched (confusing!!!) but that artists can set up their accounts now so they can start collecting royalties when it does finally launch. Got that?
A few key points of the program:
The Artist Royalty Program only pays recording rights directly, all publishing royalties will still be paid through collection societies. If you are a member of a publishing collection society you are still eligible for the Artist Royalty Program (ASCAP or BMI in the US, PRS/MCPS in the UK or GEMA in Germany are all examples of publishing rights societies)
If you composed the music and lyrics to your songs, you will be given the option to make your songs available to Last.fm users as free downloads. Last.fm will not pay any royalties when a song is downloaded for free. If you have recorded a cover song or collaborated with any composer to record a track, then you cannot make that track available for free download on Last.fm. This is because you must own both the copyright in the sound recording and the musical composition (often referred to as ‘publishing rights’) to authorise Last.fm to distribute a free download.