Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Royalities for Don McLean's American Pie

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Machaut, Jul 8, 2003.


  1. Don was on TV yesterday and revealed that American Pie is played 247 times every day on radio stations across the United States.

    Well let's figure out the royalities shall we.

    First the standard flat rate for each performance is 12 cents, BUT that is only if you are in the top 75% of radio stations who pay the highest royalities each year. If you are in the bottom 25%, you only pay 6 cents. College radio only pays 6 cents.

    For the sake of example, let's split the difference and say 9 cents.

    247 x $.09 = $22.23 x 365 = $8,113.95 each year.

    Not bad for a song that is over 30 years old. Plus he still collects for his other tunes and also picks up revenue for selling his CD's and performing.

    That's how the biz works. Not all of us may like this simple truth, but there is no substitute for a hit record in the music biz. Luckily in this case American Pie was a song of substance - IMHO.
     
  2. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Wow.

    I think he probably does ok from "Vincent" too.
     
  3. That is still my favorite tune of all the songs he wrote.
     
  4. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Maybe mine too. I've only got the one album of his ("American Pie"), but I think maybe Vincent is my favourite. It's between American Pie and Vincent, anyway.
     
  5. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Illinoize
    Wouldn't Mr. McLean collect residuals from the recent (and terrible) Madonna version of that song as well? I wonder how many times a day her version was aired when it was first released....Also, it was on a soundtrack so I would assume that he would be paid for every copy of the soundtrack sold, right? :meh:
     
  6. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yes, true, he'll have got a lot of royalties for her version. All those copies of her album sold, all that airplay, and the film and all. That's gotta be a lot of money.
     
  7. The 247 times includes Madonna's version. And yes, he collects on the royalities for the soundtrack which would be included in his CD's sold total as a partial or split royality.