How Much Do Songwriters Get Paid?


Quick Answer

According to the Future of Music Coalition, the average songwriter makes around $34,500 per year as of 2011. Income for songwriters can vary greatly depending on popularity, contract arrangements, royalties and other factors.

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How Much Do Songwriters Get Paid?
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Full Answer

Songwriters often work for records labels, which are required to pay royalties on album sales and digital downloads of songs. As of 2012, the government-regulated royalty rate is 9.1 cents per song, half of which goes to a songwriter's music publisher. Many songwriters also make significant amounts of their income from live performances. The amount of payment per live performance can vary significantly, with lesser-known acts often making $75 to $125 per show in larger cities and better-known songwriters making many times that amount.

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