Royalties for songs played at sporting events.

I know teams/leagues have to pay royalties for songs used at games. We Will Rock You, Black Betty, Welcome to the Jungle, etc. How much do they pay per use? Or is it a flat fee? Either way, how much we talking?

The stadiums, much like arenas other venues that use music, likely have purchased licenses from ASCAP, BMI, and SESSAC. Basically, it is a flat fee for the use of all of the music in a particular catalog based on the size of the venue and possibly other factors.

More info here

I remember reading a while ago that Republica, a band that rose to promiennce in the tail end of Britpop and achieved only moderate success with their song Ready to Go and it’s follow-up, made quite a lot of money from RTG becoming a popular song to be played in stadiums in the US before sporting events.

I’ve heard that We Will Rocky You/We are the Champions was written specifically because guys like Gary Glitter were making tons of money having their music played in stadiums and Queen wanted in on it.

I’m not sure I entirely buy that.

For one thing, the Gary Glitter song would be “Rock and Roll Part 2”, which apparently only started to get widespread use at sporting events in the late 1970s, while “We Will Rock You” was written in 1977.

Secondly, Brian May has a somewhat different story for the origin of “We Will Rock You”, though the song he mentions (“You’ll Never Walk Alone”) is one that was frequently sung in chants at British football matches.

Interesting link, thank you. But I don’t get it. If it is a flat fee, how do the artists get their cut? If I play songs from artist A instead of artist B, shouldn’t A be getting some of the money that I’m paying to the agency? How can that happen if I simply pay a flat fee without reporting exactly which songs I played, and how often I played them?

I hope AC/DC gets something each time “Hells Bells” gets played. It is used for American football, hockey, and baseball. Not sure about basketball.

OTOH, if they do not get anything each time we hear the bells and that guitar riff, at least it is free advertising for them.

It’s not free advertising unless the titleand artist are made known. There must be hundreds of tunes that are familiar to me, but I don’t know who wrote them, and because I don’t hear the lyrics it’s not possible to look it up. (I went through my entire childhood without knowing that there were words to “Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits”.)

Basically, they estimate. The rights organizations expend a lot of effort through surveys and sampling to guess what’s being played out there. It doesn’t really function on the level of “OK, some local band covered ‘Sharp Dressed Man’ in this bar, ZZ Top gets 0.0576% of the venue’s license fee.”. Instead, their surveys and sampling supposedly give them an idea of how often ZZ Top material is getting played, and what they should get.

I can’t speak for American collection societies specifically, but at least here in Germany royalties are estimates based on fairly elaborate statistics, but there isn’t necessarily a hard link between any particular performance and the money the artists receive.

Do radio stations pay flat fees? I’ve always assumed that they pay per song, and that popular songs are more expensive than unpopular songs, and that there are volume discounts for playing a song multiple times.

Per-song fees would explain why bigger stations tend to play Top 40 stuff, while smaller stations tend to play stuff that has faded from popularity. Volume discounts would explain why certain songs (even oldies) seem to be played several times a day today, and not at all next month.

If I’m wrong, then what mechanism does drive these quirks?

Damn. I must have heard that song hundreds of times and never knew it was a pop single. It always seemed to be in the background of something else and I guess I just assumed it was part of some commercial jingle.

Me, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it.
and watching that video gives me a headache.
and get off my lawn!

In the US, commercial radio stations pay a percentage of their advertising revenue to the rights organizations. College stations pay a fee based on the size of the student body.

Radio stations play the same songs frequently because research has shown that the fastest way to get a listener to press the channel preset buttons (to tune to another radio station) is to play an unfamiliar song. The top stations become the top stations by keeping people tuned in.

I hear a lot of chants at football (read that as soccer if you’re American) games which are based on recent songs. For instance, Go West by the Pet Shop Boys is used as the basis for a lot of chants. Presumably they don’t get royalties for this but I’ve always wondered what would happen if the band’s lawyers tried to wrangle performance rights from the home sports team.

They don’t estimate. The venue just gives the rights organization a list of the songs played. The organization then calculates how much everyone is owed.

Who’s song is “Na na, na na na na, hey-yay-yay, Good-bye!” you hear at N American ice hockey games?

Believe it or not, the title is Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.

The Pet Shop Boys were covering a Village People song anyway.