Getting Paid For Your Music, Don't Miss Out!
Todd Simpson
May 22 2020, 02:13 AM
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Posts: 20.380
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA


You can make money on your Music! To do so, you need to sign up for distribution and to have your digital rights protected and to have your royalties collected! In this age of digital distribution, it’s important to have a relationship with a “Distributor”. These are people that can help make sure that you get any royalties that you are due. What’s a ‘Royalty”? It’s money that is owed to you each time your music gets played pretty much anywhere. So yes, it is a good idea to start a relationship with a distributor. There are plenty to choose from and they are all a little different. It’s ok to be registered with more than one of these and as a matter of fact you will have to register with more than one in order to be covered fully.

DiSTROKID is a good place to start. You can register your song with them, and they will get it on spotify, iTunes etc. These guys will not collect your youtube royalties unless you pay an extra fee. But each one of these is different so it’s important to look into each one. Distrokid also does not collect your performance royalties. E.g. royalties from you performing a song such as in a live video or concert video. Here is a link to distrokid. Go sign up!
https://distrokid.com/

CDBABY is another good option. They can also help you get your music on Spotify, iTunes etc.
https://cdbaby.com/

TUNECORE is another option. They do a lot of things as a one stop shop. They don’t do everything, but they do a lot. I’d say pick either DISTROKID, TUNECORE, or CDBABY as your primary distributor. The others mentioned, can be added on as needed.
https://www.tunecore.com

Streaming has become the primary method of distribution for all types of music. As such, it’s a good idea to have a relationship with a company that is geared towards streaming and collecting streaming royalties.

SoundExchange is another one of these companies. They collect royalties for “non interactive streaming” such as PANDORA where you don’t get to choose which song is being played. ASCAP and BMI do NOT collect royalties for non interactive streaming. With these guys, about half of a royalty payment from a cover song that gets played on spotify goes to the person doing the cover. These guys collect royalties that other folks don’t collect. Whether you are the copyright holder, or just playing a cover version of a song that you don’t own the copyright too, these guys will still collect a royalty for you. So it’s important to sign up with these guys in addition to the other organizations that might help you.
https://www.soundexchange.com/

SONGTRUST is yet another company that you need. They collect foreign mechanical royalties and youtube royalties. You can get this same service through CDBABY PRO or TUNECORE PUBLISHING which is an extension of TUNECORE, or just sign up with songtrust.
https://www.songtrust.com/

BMI and ASCAP are the two organizations that have been around forever. These guys do things the old way. They are looking for spins of your music on Radio and Television. They are trying to modernize and now have expanded to collect from other areas. BMI and ASCAP collect performance royalties. They are very good at it. If you do a lot of performance based work, live covers, youtube vids etc. these guys can help, just pick one and sign up.
https://www.bmi.com/
https://www.ascap.com/

However, none of these companies will help you copyright your music. Each original piece of music you create must be registered with the copyright office. So each and every song that you publish and share through distrokid or any other distributor, should be registered with the copyright office. This is not free. It takes time and it take a bit of money. It’s worth doing though in the event that one of your songs goes viral or gets any sort of traction, you will be glad that you registered the song with the copyright office. Here is a link to the United State Copyright Office. Go there and register one song just to get started.
https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu/star...o.copyright.gov

This has been a rough overview of a lot of stuff related to getting you paid for your music. There are a lot of moving parts here. It can seem overwhelming. I’d say start small. Pick one song. Get it registered with the copyright office. Then, pick one of the big 3 distributors we talked about and and sign up with them to get your song on itunes/spotify/etc. Once that is sorted, then look in to joining soundexchange, songtrust, and either BMI or ASCAP. This will get you moving in the right direction. Having done this once, you will find it’s easier to do the second time around when you want to register your next Magnum Opus!

QUESTION: WHO IS ALREADY ON DISTROKID, CDBADY or TUNECORE?

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Todd Simpson
May 22 2020, 08:16 PM
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Posts: 20.380
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Anyone release on DISTROKID or CD BABY? What was it like for you? Would you suggest it for other people?

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