Introducing a free, optional service that collects performance royalties on your behalf.
WHAT IS MUSIC PUBLISHING? Music publishing is the management of performance royalties for the composition of copyrighted music that is used commercially. Among other tasks, a publisher administers the collection of performance royalties. In order to collect these royalties, the songwriter needs to be registered with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) and affiliated with a publisher.
WHAT’S A PRO? A Performing Rights Organization (PRO) collects performance royalties between copyright holders and parties who wish to use copyrighted works in public broadcasts such as in film, television and radio. Most countries have their own PROs; BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC are the main players in the United States.
WHY IS REGISTERING WITH A PRO AS A WRITER GOOD FOR ME? The royalties collected by your PRO (and distributed to you four times a year) can be a substantial recurring revenue stream that can outweigh one-time sync license fees.
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT OF POND5 ACTING AS PUBLISHER? Since Pond5 doesn’t share buyer/seller information, you’re on your own when it comes to finding out where your Pond5 tracks wind up. The advantage of enrolling in Pond5 Publishing as a PRO-affiliated writer is because we’re the point of sale and have the ability to follow up with our customers to encourage them to fill out cue or jingle sheets for the use of Pond5 Publishing music in their broadcast productions.
HOW ARE PERFORMANCE ROYALTIES SPLIT UP? Performance Royalties are split with 50% going to the songwriter and the other 50% going to the publisher.
WHAT’S A CUE SHEET? Cue sheets are filled out by the production company (usually a producer or editor) on behalf of the broadcaster (usually a TV network or film studio). The cue sheet lists all the music “cues” used in a production. When completed, the cue sheet is submitted electronically to each relevant PRO associated with a piece of music used in the production. There is no charge for submitting a cue sheet.
WHAT RIGHTS AM I GIVING POND5 BY ENROLLING IN POND5 PUBLISHING? When you enroll in Pond5 Publishing, you’re giving us the right to collect and administer performance royalties for the tracks that are licensed from Pond5. We’ll re-title the tracks in the Pond5 marketplace by adding a short code to the end of the title (e.g., “I Love You – P5”), so we can tie the end use to Pond5 track license sales and monitor such use through the PROs. You are NOT giving us the publishing share for tracks sold or licensed elsewhere (you retain this).
CAN MY TRACKS STAY NON-EXCLUSIVE? Yes. The purpose of allowing Pond5 to re-title your tracks is specifically so you can stay non-exclusive and allow us to collect backend performance royalties only on track licenses sold through Pond5.
CAN I DIVVY UP MY PORTFOLIO BETWEEN POND5 PUBLISHING AND MY OWN PUBLISHING COMPANY? We’re planning on introducing Pond5 Publishing at the artist level, not the asset level. At least initially, yes, you can have two accounts, but it’s up to you to create that second account and remove and re-upload tracks (which means you’ll lose all search rankings).
IS THERE AN OPT-OUT? Pond5 Publishing is optional. If you choose to enroll, the term of your enrollment will be 18 months, with auto-renewal. However, the Pond5 publishing rights—the right of Pond5 to collect royalties related to those re-titled tracks downloaded from the Pond5 marketplace or licensed by one of our Distributors—will continue and survive.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PUBLISHER SHARE? Pond5 will distribute our publisher share to every Pond5 writer receiving performance royalties (minus a 20% publishing admin fee) within a reasonable amount of time of our receipt.
ON WHAT WILL POND5 BE COLLECTING ROYALTIES? We’ll be collecting for broadcast film, TV and advertising usage only.
WILL POND5 PASS ALONG CUE SHEETS TO ME? Your placements should be viewable via the writer’s statement you receive from your PRO.
I’M ALREADY A MEMBER OF A PRO – DO I HAVE TO DO ANYTHING AFTER I ENROLL IN POND5 PUBLISHING? No, Pond5 or our publishing admin partner will handle revising your metadata, registering the re-titled works with the relevant PRO and filing cue sheets.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY WRITER ROYALTIES? You’ll receive your writer royalties directly from your PRO at the same time you would if you were doing this on your own. Industry standards average approximately 9-12 months after cue sheets have been submitted for US-based usage, and 18-24 months for international usage.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO WHEN I UPLOAD NEW TRACKS? Nothing. We will handle the re-titling of your tracks. Then Pond5 or our publishing admin partner will register the work with the relevant PRO.
I’M NOT CURRENTLY AFFILIATED WITH A PRO. HOW DO I GET INVOLVED? You can sign up as a songwriter with BMI for free, no matter where in the world you live. Once you’ve created your writer account, please send your BMI Writer IPI number to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please review the Pond5 Music Publishing Terms for more details. Pond5 reserves the right to modify or terminate this service, this FAQ and these terms at any time.