How to Find the Best Television Music Royalties

Back in the 1990s, before “reality television” gripped the control from the channel, MTV featured iconic television shows that remain a part of American cultural lore.
August 17, 2016

Back in the 1990s, before “reality television” gripped the control from the channel, MTV featured iconic television shows that remain a part of American cultural lore.

Rolling Stone reports that many of the MTVs top shows from that decade are returning to television.

MTV has rebranded VH1 Classic as MTV Classic as of August 1.

The new channel features "an eclectic mix of fan-favorite MTV series and music programming drawn from across its rich history, with a special focus on the 1990s and early 2000s," according to a company statement.

The shows include Beavis and Butthead, MTV Unplugged, the Real World, and Laguna Beach.

But the real interesting part of this revival is the financial opportunity tied to these shows.

A revival of these shows is a boon for the owners of the music and songwriting royalties tied to these episodes. Each time that a song is played again on the network, the owner of the royalty rights will receive a check.

Beavis and Butthead will once again sit down and watch music videos. When they review the Beastie Boys' hit "Sabotage," musicians Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz and the estate of Adam Yauch will receive a royalty payment.

It's not just music videos. MTV Unplugged featured concerts by Nirvana, Bob Dylan, and Rod Stewart. The owners of the intellectual property tied to the songs performed will earn royalties.

But it's not just the music you know that will receive royalties.

The music that is used in the show Laguna Beach and The Real World — the small intercut music, the theme title, any and every song used in production — will also receive royalty payments.

This is the latest example of how certain music assets can find renewed popularity after long periods of time.

It also provides insight into the state of television today.

We are truly entering a new golden age for the medium.

Television viewership is booming alongside the number of shows in production. That's why we want to dig into the value of production royalties and help you locate music and entertainment royalties that could pay reliable revenue streams.

Today Is Television's Golden Age

It's a good time to work in television. According to AdWeek, the industry had 409 scripted television shows in 2015.

That's a 94% increase from just six years ago. With new networks emerging on cable, and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime creating their own production houses, viewers have more options than ever before. Basic cable offered the single largest boost during the period.

In 2009, basic cable had 66 scripted shows. Six years later, that figure has swelled to 181.

This growth is tremendous news for anyone who owns the rights to production music that is played on many different television shows.

If you want to find the best performing production royalties, it's important to do your homework.

Perhaps one of the best tools to consider when examining potential television royalties is audience data.

What are the most popular shows on television today? We can identify this through Nielsen data. Each week, Nielsen releases new data on the most popular television shows, syndicated television shows, advertisements, and prime-network shows. Another site called TV By the Numbers provides a series of larger recaps on U.S. television consumption.

We also want a better understanding of other media streams. Netflix continues to surge in popularity around the globe.

Each month, offers a free update on the shows that will be joining or leaving Netflix. This handy guide is essential research that can help you identify what television shows and films will join the deep roster of Netflix content.

Once you have identified a number of different shows of interest, you can obtain a breakdown of the music from that show on

Another research option is to consider regular updates to The real time sales data offers insight into the best-selling Television and Film Soundtracks and offers up-to-date sales data on each product page.

Other Royalty Options for Investors

Production music is a vital part of the television industry.

And the songs heard in the background, during scene transitions, and in opening and closing credits offer royalty payments to the owners of the intellectual property.

In the past, it was a challenge to locate available production music for investment purposes. Sales are not widely marketed, and many deals take place among industry insiders.

But today, finding production music for sale has never been easier. Royalty Exchange regularly hosts auctions of production tracks that can offer reliable investment yield for years to come.

Right now, a portfolio of production songs used in more than 180 television shows are available for auction.

These songs have appeared on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, Girl Code, Millionaire Matchmaker, Basketball Wives, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Dish Nation, and Mob Wives and on networks like VH1, MTV, E!, TLC and Bravo.

Every time that a show uses any of the songs in this catalog the asset generates a public performance royalty. Over the last year, they have generated $2,999 in royalties for the owner.

To learn more about the auction, click right here.

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