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December 5, 2012 8:40 AM Subscribe
Is it possible for a songwriter or musican to entirely live off the proceeds of a Christmas single? Is it enough to live comfortably off years after release?
posted by mippy to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Inspired by a conversation about whether the proceeds each year from Slade#s 'Merry Christmas Everyone' provides enough for the members to dine out each night until next December...
I don't mean musicians who have other singles or tracks that get regular airplay as well as their Christmas hits, such as Slade, Mike Oldfield and Paul McCartney. Rather, I was wondering whether the royalties from airplay and compilations mean that someone could have a one-hit wonder (ie. The Waitresses, Jona Lewie, Fountains of Wayne) that gets played again every Christmas and live off the proceeds.
I know PRS licenses are now required for airplay in shops and pubs, but I'm not sure how much difference this makes. I would imagine that airplay royalties, downloads and inclusion on compilations in the pre-mp3 era before it was possible to, in effect, buy any song as a 'single' would be the main income, but how does it work? I also know that in order to make money in pop you need to get your name on the songwriting credits - so how does it differ for, say, a cover (Kylie's version of Santa Baby is played a lot on the radio at Christmas time here).