What Royalties Can Artists and Songwriters Earn?

  • Sarah Harralson
  • Catalog Artist Royalties Analyst
  • Warner Music Group
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Making money in the music business is not always easy.  One thing that makes it harder is for artists and songwriters to know what royalties they can earn or have earned, and how to collect them.

In this video, Royalties Analyst Sarah Harralson discusses how artists and songwriters can earn and collect a variety of different royalties.

Vital Information Sarah Shares In This Video

Royalty Overview

Understand the sources of all the different royalties you can earn.

Publishing Adm.

Learn what publishing administration is, who does it and why.

Sync Licensing

Learn the potential royalties you can earn from some sync placements.


Learn how much time it typically takes from when you earn the royalty to receiving it.

Realistic Expectations

Understand what numbers you need to aim for online to make substantial income.


Understand that streaming on platforms like Spotify is mostly just  marketing.
About The EXPERT

Sarah Harralson

“Sarah Harralson presents honest, bare-boned recordings that are authentic,” stated Music Connection Magazine after hearing her debut singer-songwriter EP, Finally Found, in 2014. Her authenticity lies in her lyrics based on true stories followed by melodies that will be stuck in your head hours after hearing it. An authentic storyteller and straight shooter, she is not afraid to tell it like it is in her music.

This Knoxville native began writing songs when she was ten years old, her bluegrass musician grandfather being her biggest musical influence. She was surrounded by genres such as country, rock 'n roll, soul, and pop growing up, but the storytelling aspect of country is what ultimately drew Harralson to pursuing that genre. After her grandfather passed in 2011, Sarah decided she would move to Nashville two years later to pursue music at Belmont University.

A year after releasing her debut EP in 2014, she was discovered by Scotty Schultz, drummer for Shooter Jennings (Waylon Jennings’s son). Scotty opened up his publishing company, Raindrop Music LLC, in 2015 and after hearing Sarah’s original song “Watered Down Whiskey”, he knew he wanted to sign her right away. This would be Sarah’s first publishing deal. Scotty decided he would produce her first country EP, Watered Down Whiskey, of all original songs that Sarah has either written or co-written.

"This EP will help many people and hopefully some will have their heart healed by her emotional lyrics," stated Music Update Central after hearing the release of her second EP in February 2018. Sarah’s country influences range from The Dixie Chicks to Brandy Clark to Johnny Cash with the vocals sounds of Jewel and Alanis Morissette, which comes across on her second EP, Watered Down Whiskey. Scotty Schultz of Raindrop Music, LLC stated that, “she is a driven woman who deserves to be heard,” and the stories will definitely be heard. One of the tracks on the EP includes the song, “Radio Static” that was co-written with Johnny Garcia (lead guitar for Garth Brooks).

Over time, Sarah began writing and working with Johnny, which evolved to the point where Sarah would sign her next publishing deal with Busy at Play Publishing (Johnny Garcia’s company) in February 2020. During 2020, she released singles, "Put a Rock on This Rolling Stone", "Get Lost in Some Rock 'N Roll", and holiday single, "Frosty", since signing with Busy at Play Publishing. Her 2021 singles include, "The Chance", "The America I Knew", "Love on Lease (Reimagined)", "Bottom of the Glass", and a jazz version of "Silent Night". Her new single, "Whiskey History" was released on January 14th, and her new album, Whiskey History, was released on February 18th.

You can find her playing local shows in Nashville when she is not out of town. Her stage credibility includes opening for the likes of Aaron Tippin, Bucky Covington, and also included on festival rosters with Jason Aldean and Old Dominion as headliners. Besides performing, Sarah also produces music herself and decided to release a collaborative album, West of Me, with co-writer Christine Bauer in early 2019 that she self-produced. You can also hire her to write and record a song for you or your loved one through websites, Songfinch, SoundBetter, or Fiverr. Besides writing her own material, she has also co-written songs cut by other artists such as "Tennessee" by Whippoorwill, "Thirsty" by Natalia Soul, and "It'll Be Alright" by Rob Murphy to name a few. In June 2021, she was invited to be a voting member of The Recording Academy as a vocalist and songwriter. She also plays at hospitals as a volunteer musician once a month for Musicians On Call. Sarah hopes that her music will help people in some way across the world. She is a big believer that music heals and aims to present her music in a way that is relatable for others and can heal any open wounds.


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