Inside the New Royalty Split for ‘Uptown Funk’: Who Gets Paid What

Uptown Funk, which features vocals by Bruno Mars (center), was released in early December
Uptown Funk, which features vocals by Bruno Mars (center), was released in early December
“Uptown Funk!”, which features vocals by Bruno Mars (center), was released in early December

 

(Billboard) – Songwriting credits for “Uptown Funk!” went to four people initially: Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars, Phillip Martin Lawrence and Jeffrey Bhasker. However, before the song was even released it had gained two more: Nicholas Williams (AKA Trinidad James) and producer Devon Gallaspy, the authors of “All Gold Everything,” both receiving a share for a sampling interpolation. This credit was shared at the behest of the original songwriters/publishers; Billboard’s sources say the team behind the hit reached out to Gallaspy and Williams without prompting. Gallaspy and Williams spit a 15 percent take, leaving the original four songwriters with a 21.25 percent share each.

Downloads of “Uptown Funk!” hit sales of 5.5 million units in the U.S., while Ronson’s album scanned 95,000 units, according to Nielsen Music — about $510,000 in U.S. mechanical publishing royalties (at $0.091 per song).

YouTube uploads which feature the master “Uptown Funk!” recording and which have generated at least 10 million views — five, according to Billboard’s search — show 672,617,094 views. Assuming 40 percent of those views had ads placed against them, and using a blended rate of $0.0045 cents per view, then total revenue on YouTube, both label and publishing shares, was $2.201 million. A publishing synchronization rate of 15 percent would produce royalties of $330,000. These figures don’t take into account the many user-generated videos, where the publishing would receive a 50 percent cut of net revenue.

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