If record companies could be likened to cars then royalty managers are the keys. We all just take for granted that we know where our keys lay and nobody ever bothers to look for them until it is time to leave.
When you walk into a record label, the last person on your “people I must meet” checklist is the royalty manager. Funny, because when you think about the whole point of a music business, besides the “Joy” of the beautiful art, it is to make money. So who makes sure that the correct credit alert enters the correct bank account without any long story? It is the Royalty manager.
Who are royalty managers?
A royalty manager, well… manages royalties. In a record label or music distribution company the royalty manager is in charge of collecting, calculating shares, and keeping records of royalties accruable. These royalties are then paid to the owner or contributors to a musical work.
It sounds like a simple enough job until you realise that they are tracking royalty data accruing from multiple sources, keeping accurate accounting records of all these royalties and also responsible for sharing said royalties amongst every single contributor or royalty rights holder from that particular body of work based on pre-agreed splits.
The royalty manager’s skill set.
If the definition of a royalty manager’s role sounds like a whole lot of mathematics, it is and a little more. Royalty manager’s duties are not mysteries to be unravelled but it is quite complex and delicate. Skills required for the position include:
- Contracts/terms and splits sheets creation/analyses
- Intermediate to Advance Spreadsheets skills
- Mathematical/Analytical skills
- SQL or Data visualisation for advanced managers
- Reconciliation/record keeping skills
That is a lot for one to have on his plate.
Luckily, companies like Royalti.io have solutions that make it easier to run a music business and help them keep accurate records of their financial operations. They have services that offer a seamless solution to catalogue management and royalty accounting. It is perfect for tracking, analysing and recording royalty data plus contributors can view accruing royalties in real time.