Is Your Music Registered So You Can Get Paid?

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Welcome to the big leagues.

Being an independent artist is a full-time job, especially when it comes to the business aspect.

In this post, I’m going to share 6 secrets that most artists either don’t know or would like to know more about.

When it comes to the Music Business, these 6 invisible machines play an intricate part. Here are the benefits.

1. U.S. Copyright Office. The Music Business still is ran by copyrights, which give the owner the rights to exploit music (perform it, put it on a CD, upload it, etc.). When most new artists sign a deal, they are quickly persuaded to fork over the rights to their music. Think of copyrights more as a source of recurring revenue in the sense that you can keep getting paid over and over and over, from 1 song or body of work. Registering your music with the U.S. Copyright Office also protects your music from thieves and is relatively inexpensive to do. *

2. Nielsen SoundScan. Join SoundScan and they’ll track your retail sales that are generated each time you sell your music through an online retailer (like iTunes) or in traditional stores (like Walmart). This sales data is then use to provide analytics for industry outlets like the Billboard Charts and is also sent to all the major labels. Say for instance your song sells well on iTunes, a label sees you on the Billboard charts, and contacts you for a record deal… You see how this works?*

3. BMI. Join BMI as a songwriter and they’ll collect performance royalties on your behalf, when your music is played on TV, in movies, on the radio (streaming & satellite), and from live performances. Pretty much, they get the royalties owed to you as a songwriter. There are other PRO’s out there like ASCAP, SESAC, and SOSCAN, but they basically  all do the same thing –make sure you get paid.*

4. Mediabase. Mediabase is used to track your radio spins. If your music is not registered – you don’t get paid. It’s that simple. Even if you’re not getting radio play, you never know how your song may end up taking off organically. Also, I’d like to mention that you should also register with Nielsen BDS which pretty much does the same thing as Mediabase, except the process that they use to detect music is done using automation.*

5. SoundExchange. Join SoundExchange and they’ll collect the nonperformance royalties generated from your sound recording when it’s played on digital platforms like Pandora.*

6. Audiam. Join Audiam and they’ll collect the money owed to you from your music being played on YouTube. *

*Note: Each time you release a new song, in order to enjoy the benefits of protection and payment from your music – you must repeat the steps above.

Source: TuneCore, DIY Musician

-Farlin Ave (@farlinave)


Interested in becoming a 7 Star Dreams member and learning more about the Music Business? Click here to join now.

Author: Farlin Ave

Naheem “Farlin Ave” Houston is a musician and founder of 7 Star Dreams. When not busy being an entrepreneur, he works as an entertainment news journalist for the mainstream Hip Hop stations 97.9 The Beat in Dallas, TX and Hot 104.1 in St. Louis, MO. 

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