There are three types of royalties an artist can collect for their copyright protected music. There are Performance, Mechanical and Synchronization royalties
Sync royalties are collected when your music is played in a TV show, commercial, movie, video game, online videos or anything audiovisual. Both the songwriter and the performer are entitled to collect these royalties. The fee charged for a sync license is dependent on a few factors, such as the duration of the song, the prominence of the track (background music in a lm, used in the credits, etc.) and the overall popularity of a song and its importance. Obtaining a publishing deal is very helpful in this case as they exploit your music and negotiate sync deals on your behalf
Mechanical royalties are paid to the songwriter and composer when a copy of your music is reproduced in some form (downloaded, pressed into a CD or streamed). Labels and digital music services, such as Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes, are responsible for paying these royalties. Online music distributors such as CD Baby, Distrokid or Tunecore collect and distribute mechanical royalties for you when you release music digitally on their platform. Agencies such as SOCAN or CMRRA in Canada or Harry Fox Agency in the US also collect mechanical royalties on your behalf once you register with them.
Performance royalties are paid when your song is performed in public (concert, restaurant/bar playlist, shopping mall, etc.) Performing Rights Organizations or PROs are responsible for collecting these royalties and will do so once you are a member. Some PROs include SOCAN, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and PRS. SOCAN is great, if you are a Canadian artist, and have started collecting both mechanical and performance royalties with one signup fee but unfortunately there are typically different agencies that collect each.
Now that you have a general understanding of each type of royalty you are entitled to collect, register your works with the organization responsible for collecting each on your behalf. You might be missing out on royalties you never knew you were entitled to and you could generate a much larger revenue stream from your music.