How to Calculate Your Streaming Royalties with Your Own .CSV File
Good Splits — a free tool for musicians — makes it easy to calculate music royalties and split them up to collaborators. Here’s how to format your own file to use with the tool.
Have your own file with sales figures that need splitting? Good Splits was built to work with almost any sales report .csv file from any aggregator but it can achieve the same result if you’ve been doing the accounting yourself or have edited several files together.
Here’s how to easily calculate royalties owed using your own .csv file.
Before we get started it is generally helpful to understand how this data is collected and distributed to users (i.e. — you).
The services (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, etc…) will collect and report information related to the sale (or transaction). The service will then share this information with the aggregator or distributor who then reports it back to the user (again — you).
Understanding this is important because not all aggregators share all that data with their users. Some aggregators will give you much more information than you need to use Good Splits and some will not give you enough. If your situation is more like the latter, contact us — we can usually figure out a way to comb through the data to make it work.
- Adjust, add, or edit your columns.
Your file needs to have the following minimum requirements to use the tool. It can have more information, but not less than the following:
Note: Your columns’ names don’t have to match the wording exactly — we’ll solve for that in step five: mapping.
- Sales Type OR Store: This identifies if it was a stream or download or can also alternatively identify the store itself (Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, iTunes, etc.). You can use either here.
- Release Type: This identifies if it was a song or an album (and sometimes video)
- Country of Sale: This is where the sale was made. This helps us determine if the customer was in the US or Canada and if the transaction requires a mechanical royalty to be paid.
- Artist: Artist Name
- Song Name: Title/track name
- Album Name: Album Title
- Units Sold: Quantity sold
- Total Sales: Earnings (USD). Pay special attention to your file because some services will display a Gross Earnings column and then a Net Earnings column. Good Splits needs to calculate based on the amount received by you which would be the Net Earnings.
2. Save your data into a .csv file.
Maybe your file is already in .csv format. But if you’re working in Excel or Google Sheets, you can simply File > Download as .CSV to create a .csv file of your work.
3. Sign into Good Splits and click Upload Sales Report.
Don’t have an account yet? Sign up for one here!
4. Upload your file.
You can click to select your file or drag and drop your .csv into Good Splits.
5. Match our Good Splits categories to your document’s corresponding column name.
When your file has finished uploading, you’ll be prompted to match our Good Splits categories to your document’s corresponding column names. Learn more about mapping your file here.
Since you already saved out the columns you need in your custom file, this should go pretty quickly. Simply choose which of your columns corresponds to our Good Splits names.
The left-field below in bold is the name for the data within Good Splits.
The name to the right of that is the column header in our file you are matching to from your document.
- Sales Type: The column that identifies if the item is a download or stream (once you assign the column header in your file it will ask you to further map the data found in that column).
In this instance, Good Splits will also display data names found in the column to then be matched to the below selections two sections.
- Download: However your document references downloads
- Stream: However your document references streams
Remember, if you do not have this data separated you may need to map either the Retailer or Sales Classification (there could be other names based on the aggregator file you are using). A list of how to assign streaming or download sales by Retailer type is below.
- Streaming services: (Input all that apply )Amazon Prime, Amazon Unlimited, Anghami, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play All Access, iTunes Match, Napster, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, YouTube ContentID, and YouTube Red.
- Download Services: (Input all that apply ) Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.
- Release Type: The column that identifies if the item is song or album.
Song: However your document references songs or tracks
Album: However your document references albums
- Country of Sale: Spell out how the USA and Canada are mentioned in your file (if they are spelled out or acronyms, etc.)
US: USA (United States, etc.)
CA: CAN (Canada, etc.)
- Artist: The name of your document’s artist name column
- Song Name: The name of your document’s song name column
- Album Name: The name of your document’s album name column
- Units Sold: The name of your document’s quantity or units sold column
- Total Sales: The name of your document’s earnings column
Good tip: You can use the question mark icons to learn more about each required field.
6. Assign songs to albums.
In order to calculate album sales/plays versus song sales/plays you’ll need to identify which songs are on which albums.
Click edit songs on the album row, input the number of songs on the album, and select the songs themselves from the pre-populated list. Then click the Save Album button on that album row. You’ll be able to go back and edit this before you calculate if you need to adjust.
Note: Singles will need to live in an album with one song.
Continue to assign songs to all of the albums that are in your file. Then click “Assign Songs” at the bottom of the modal to continue to the next step.
Don’t have all this info handy? Choosing “Skip & Assign Later” will take you out of the upload process and you won’t be able to calculate your payments until you do. But your work will save and you can come back later to complete it!
Good Tip: No fear! We’ll remind you if your percentages don’t equal 100%. For singles, create an album with 1 song count and then assign the correct song. This will help calculate mechanical royalties owed.
7. Set song splits.
Now it’s time to tell Good Splits the splits for each song. Click “Edit Splits” on the song row, add your collaborator’s name, email, and their percentage splits for both master and publishing. Collaborators added from previous uploads will appear in the dropdown. Emails are required for each collaborator (but they aren’t contacted unless you decide to send them money through Good Splits later).
Add as many collaborators as you need for each song, clicking “Save” on the song row after each song is completed. You must account for 100% between all composers in a song. Once you’ve added all of your Splits, click “Save Splits” to move to the next step.
Just like with albums, you only have to do this the first time a song is uploaded. Split info will save for all future uploads with this song!
Need to copy and paste the same split info across multiple songs? You can use our Bulk Splits option! Select all the songs that have duplicate info and a button will appear that allows you to set splits across multiple songs.
8. Start the calculation engine.
Is all your data in? So much data, in fact, that you’re worried it might take all night to crunch the numbers? Not a problem. We built Good Splits to do the math in under two minutes, no matter how much good there is to split.
Simply confirm all of the information looks correct on the summary screen, then select “Save and Continue”. If you need to edit split or album info for this file, you can go back to do that now. If you need to adjust this later, you will have to recalculate the file.
9. See your earnings.
This is the fun part. You can find earnings in three different places in Good Splits.
The Current Upload tab will display the payments that are owed to the collaborators from the current file that you just uploaded. Here you will see earnings broken down by songwriters and other collaborators. If you assigned shares to a record label, publisher, or other entity — their earnings will also show here.
The Catalog tab contains the songs and albums from all uploads, and shows you earnings broken down by song. You can edit splits and contents of albums here if necessary.
The All Uploads tab displays a history of all of the files that you’ve ever uploaded into Good Splits.
The Payments tab is where you’ll be able to see all of the payments that you owe your collaborators.
See? We promised it would be easy.
Ready to try it for yourself? You can sign up and create a free account here. And let us know how you are using our tool to make your life easier at firstname.lastname@example.org.