Good Splits FAQ

Have pressing questions about using the tool? Check out our user guides or get in touch: [email protected].

What’s Good Splits?

Good Splits is a free streaming royalty calculator for musicians. It’s cloud-based software that let’s creators and managers easily divvy up earnings from sales reports without doing any of the math.

What does it do?

This tool allows musicians to quickly and easily calculate royalties from aggregator services like Tunecore, Distrokid, CDbaby, and more. This lets individuals responsible for divvying up song earnings to see what they owe to their collaborators (and pay them, too).

How do you use it?

Good Splits works like a fancy calculator. After you upload your sales data file (.CSV) from your aggregator service, you will need to input splits for each collaborator, and assign songs to albums. Then click to start the calculation and after a few moments, you’ll be able to see which collaborators are owed what for each track and/or album they contributed to. You can use this to manage your payments to those collaborators without having to do any of the math yourself.

Need help? Check out our user guides for navigating the tool in our wiki.

What do I need to get started?

You’ll need:

  • A free Good Splits account (sign up at goodsplits.app)
  • Your song splits (knowledge of your splits for each rack and shared ownership for publishing and master)
  • Your sales data document from your aggregator in .csv or .tsv format
What are the steps?
  1. Upload your sales data document.
  2. Match your column names.
  3. Input the splits for each track from that upload.
  4. Assign songs to albums.
  5. Click start calculation.

Watch us break it down in this Quick Start Tutorial Video:

Is Good Splits really free to use?

You betcha. Good Splits basic is free of charge.

Our new Payments feature charges a small fee for each transaction but there is no monthly fee associated.

In the future, we hope to launch a variety of premium and paid upgrades that allow creators to do even more. For example, Good Splits Pro will include additional collaborator logins, PDF reports, multi-file imports and more. And Good Splits Guru is an enterprise option that includes white labeling, custom integrations, and custom reporting.

But if you’re only calculating what you owe, you can feel safe using our current version without ever getting a bill.

What royalties does it calculate?

Good Splits calculates two royalties—the publishing royalty and master royalty.

The publishing royalty is owed to those who wrote (and have been assigned ownership) of the composition.

This is sometimes commonly referred to as “pub splits.” Most territories pay mechanical (publishing) royalties through the local collection society but in the US and Canada, the responsibility to pay mechanical royalties for sales (downloads) is that of the uploader. Note: this is different from streams, which will eventually be handled through the Mechanical Licensing Collective.

Good Splits lets you easily calculate both US and Canadian statutory mechanical rates (they are different!).

Master royalties are even simpler. Just input the split for anyone who contributed to the master sound recording (think artists, producers and engineers).

Can I include splits for my publisher?

You sure can.

In most publishing deals, earnings are always passed through to the publisher before they are settled out to the writer. So, if you are releasing music online and earning mechanical royalties for sales, those mechanical royalty earnings should go to your publisher first for your publisher to settle out to you (based on the specifics of your deal). There is an easy way to do this with Good Splits, though.

In Good Splits, simply issue your publisher part of your earnings. (So instead of Jon Doe getting 50% of Song A’s publishing royalties, the publisher ie. Concord, Warner Chappell, etc. can get that 50%). You input your publisher just as any other collaborator for the track.

When Good Splits calculates your royalties, those earnings are already assigned, attributed and set aside to the entity they are owed. (Note: Typically publishers do not receive master royalties so this does not apply to those instances.)

How long does it take to work?

We estimate that an initial upload of 50 songs takes about 10 minutes to a) upload, b) match the column names of your document c) input splits and d) assign albums.

The good part? Once you upload a split for a certain song or create an album, Good Splits will save that info for any future files so you never have to input that data again. So the more you use Good Splits, the faster the calculating will be!

How do I sign up?

Go to goodsplits.app and signup to create your account. Easy.

Who can use Good Splits?

Anyone that needs to do some accounting that requires percentage splits for songs or intellectual property. We engineered it for music creators like musicians, producers, and sound engineers and their managers or business managers, but if you need a better way to calculate what you owe to your collaborators on a project that includes percentage splits based on plays or distribution, Good Splits could be for you!

Why is Good Splits special?

There’s simply no other tool out there like Good Splits. It helps musicians see what they owe to their collaborators in the simplest way possible. So whoever’s cutting the checks (musicians or business managers) can do it more efficiently and on a shorter timetable. That means not only are more people paid more often for their work, there is full transparency into how those royalties were calculated. Plus, our tool allows users to upload multiple types of sales reports from any source.

How do musicians currently calculate royalty payments?

This is a tricky question, but in order to answer it, you have to know how royalties are created in the first place. We hope this provides some clarity:

  1. In order for a song to be shared or streamed, it first must be distributed to Digital Service Providers (DSPs) like iTunes and Spotify. Most musicians currently distribute songs through aggregator services like Tunecore, AWAL, cdbaby, Distrokid, Symphonic, and oneRPM (to name a few - there are many!).
  2. When a song is sold or streamed, DSPs pay the revenue earned to the distributing aggregator service. The aggregator service then distributes the money to the individual who originally uploaded / submitted that song to the service.
  3. The user who distributed the song receives 100% of earnings from the DSP through the aggregator service. They are now responsible for divvying up the earnings to their collaborators (roles like songwriters, publishers, producers, sound engineers, and more).
  4. Musicians sometimes hire a business manager to calculate what they owe to whom. Smaller artists (80% of the music industry) usually do this on their own. And it’s not easy. The more music you make (and the more widely distributed it is), the more unwieldy the calculations can get. And since it takes a long time, even if collaborators do end up seeing those checks, it can be up to eight or nine months later from when the earnings were earned.
  5. Good Splits helps solve this in the following ways:

    • The user who receives earnings from DSPs through their aggregator service can more easily calculate what they owe to whom. Good Splits hides all the ugly math in a simple UI so anyone can use it.
    • Collaborators can better audit the individuals who distribute the songs to DSPs via aggregator services, allowing for more transparency to teams.
    • Creators get paid more often.
Can I make payments through Good Splits?

You can now!

Of course you can still use Good Splits to see what you owe your collaborators without paying them through the tool (all that is free to use). But it’s so much easier if you pay them directly!

Our new feature lets you pay collaborators who also have Good Splits accounts. You can invite your team to make their free accounts and then you can make payments that are tied to your sales reports. We work with a secured payments system called Dwolla to make sure this part of Good Splits is safe and protected. We do not store your banking information and don’t have direct access to your linked bank account.

In order to set up payments for your account, you’ll need to

  1. Verify your information by providing your birthdate and the last four digits of your social security number
  2. Link a bank account from which to send or receive funds.

You can set this up by going to your Good Splits profile and completing the payments verification and linking steps. It only takes a few minutes.

What are the fees to use Good Splits Payments?

It costs a small fee to use Good Splits Payments. You will pay this small fee each time you issue a payment to a collaborator. But we ensured that you’ll never pay more than $15 to send a payment, no matter how big.

This fee is added onto the total payment amount from the sender. Users receiving payments do not pay or see any of the fees.

Our fee structure is based on a range of pricing. All fees are in USD. There is a minimum payment of $1. Reference the follow table for:

Good Splits Payments Fee Structure

Amount of Your PaymentDwolla FeeGood Splits FeeFee to Payer Per Transaction
$.01 - $1.99$.05$0$.05
$2.00 - $9.99$.05$.50$.55
$10.00 - $99.99$0.05 - $0.50 (.5% of transaction)$2$2.05 - $2.50
$100 - $999.99$0.50 - $5.00 (.5% of transaction)$5$5.50 - $10
$1,000 - $5,000$5 (Dwolla maximum for a transaction)$10$15
Who is using Good Splits?

Good Splits Beta was launched for the Good Folk clients in fall 2019 to test and get feedback for the product.

”Good Splits is such an essential resource for artists and their teams. Being able to quickly and efficiently calculate master royalty splits without an expensive royalty application is amazing!”
- Dave Hopper, Hard 8 Working Group

”I was seeking a tool to help organize and simplify the headache of our quarterly reporting processes and Good Splits is exactly that. What used to take hours, now takes minutes.”
- Heather Kelly, Valeo Arts Management

”Good Splits is an incredibly useful tool for everyone from publishers and managers to independent artists and labels to keep track of where their money is coming from and make sure that their collaborators are being properly compensated.”
- ET, SESAC

What gave you the idea to build Good Splits?

Because the royalty payment process is so complicated, it’s difficult for musicians to have a good idea of how much revenue their work generates. Understanding their value in the marketplace allows musicians to better plan for their futures and shape their careers. Good Splits is one way to deliver that information.

Fundamentally, we believe the music industry can be better. Transparency, smart technology, and honest people can help make those changes.

Why the banana?

We were inspired by another famous split of the desert variety, and well, to be honest, royalty accounting is kind of bananas. We hope we can make the process a little less messy.

What do I do if one of the preset fields isn't working?

If for some reason one of your preset fields is not working in the mapping process and it won't allow you to proceed, try this:

  1. Click the red X next to the input field to remove that mapping.
  2. Manually type in the name of the mapping back into the input field.
  3. Map the rest of the fields accordingly.
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