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If you have registered your songs with a Performance Royalties Organisation (PRO), eventually you will receive a letter advising what percentages you will receive when certain royalties are generated. If you haven’t received an email yet, something should arrive within 4 – 6 months after your songs have been registered. Yes, while some PROs are quicker than that, many are that slow!

The importance of this blog is to explain the basic % splits so that you better understand the content of those emails. Firstly, it’s important to understand that in this blog we are only talking about ‘Composition’ royalties, which attract two sub-royalty types: Performance Royalties & Mechanical Royalties.

Each song automatically generates a royalty known as the “Writer’s Share”, which equals 50% of the performance royalties of any particualr song. This is the royalty reflected in the email provided by your PRO. The other is known as the “Publisher’s Share”, which accounts for the other 50% of those performance royalties and 100% of any mechanical royalties. Let’s look at how those percentages are split and calculated.

woman composing music on a keyboard with a microphone next to her

You can also check out our educational video here on Youtube that explains this more.


Writer’s Share

The writer’s share is always retained 100% by the nominated songwriters, except in some very special circumstances where a songwriter has signed a portion or all of their rights over to another party. So, in most cases, that writer’s share, which is a total of 50% of the song’s composition royalties, is then shared by all of the nominated songwriters according to the agreed % splits.


Publisher’s Share

When a songwriter has engaged the services of a music publisher, the publisher’s share of those composition royalties will be split a little differently, according to the agreement in place. Firstly, the publisher’s share is the remaining 50% of a song’s composition royalties after the first 50% (the writer’s share) has already been allocated directly to the songwriter(s), and 100% of any mechanical royalties generated.

Next, and in the case of all songwriters signed with Dark Escapes Publishing, the songwriter(s) will receive 75% of the publisher’s share (which is actually a further 37.5% of the song’s overall composition royalties and 75% of those mechanical royalties). The remaining 25% will be allocated to the publisher (in this case, Dark Escapes Publishing), minus a percentage taken by the PRO and any sub-publishers used in the process.


For example

Let’s see how this looks using the following example (composition royalties only):

  • Johnny’s band signs a standard agreement with Dark Escapes Publishing; there are 4 members of this band, each with an equal split of the royalties.

  • They register their new single, which is then registered with the PRO in their country.

  • The song goes on to generate $1000 in composition royalties.


This is how it should look:

Song generates $1000 in Composition Royalties (CR)
Songwriter(s) take all of the writer’s share (50% of CR) = $500.00
Songwriter(s) take 75% of PS (50% of CR) = $375.00

PRO takes 7% of remaining PS = $8.80 (approx.)

Publisher(s) get 25% of PS (minus PRO commission) = $116.20
Each songwriter gets $218.80 (4x band members)

*PS = Publisher’s Share

Overall it can be very confusing for many. The Dark Escapes team is always working hard to ensure that all of our songwriters receive the royalties they deserve from around the world. If you have any further questions regarding this topic, or another, please email us at: and we will send you our best reply as quickly as we can.


If you release music in Australia, 100% of your mechanical royalties are collected by the publisher. If you have questions about mechanical royalties in other countries, shoot us a message via or click here.


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