There are vital steps to take to protect your music assets so you can earn money through royalties, licensing and advertising. If you don't have a solid platform set up before you begin promoting your music project, then you'll be generating empty plays that won't be worth a penny.
Here are 5 steps to take to create a solid platform that will set your project up to generate royalties, a sky that can be limitless depending upon your future success. But, before you take off running to promote and share your music with the world, make sure you cover your bases with these 5 valuable suggestions.
Before you begin to release your music double check that your music project is complete. Has it been mixed, mastered? Does it have ISRC Codes embedded? Have you made your split contract with any other artist, producer, manager, publisher or any other party affiliated with creating the music project? If yes, then you're ready to begin taking the legal business steps to prepare to release your project.
1. Copyright Your Music
Register for an account at the U.S. copyright office website, then for a small registration fee fill out the copyright registration application and submit your music. It's a lengthy process that can take up to a year but get it started before you release your music.
By taking this important step you are protecting your intellectual property. Once your song is copyright protected you can earn royalties if someone wants to use this material. They will have to obtain a mechanical license (if another artists wants to perform your song), synchronization license (to place your music in a motion picture or video) or a public performance license (artist performs your song live).
2. Performing Rights Organizations
In order to begin collecting royalties for your music you must be registered with a performing rights organization. The job of a P.R.O (ASCAP or BMI) is to collect royalties paid by radio stations, TV networks, venues and any place that plays music with a copyright. The P.R.O then distributes the money to their affiliated songwriters and publishers.
Register for a small one time fee of $50.00 to join ASCAP as a writer and take the first step to collect royalties. Once you become a member you can register your songs so they can be tracked, using the ISRC code embedded in your song.
3. Get An Aggregator
An aggregator provides the service of distributing your music globally through digital stores and streaming platforms. Your aggregator will not only place your music on these platforms but some will also collect royalties for you that are connected to your performing rights association. Register to become a CD Baby Pro member to do just this, then you can set up the release of your music project. There are many aggregator service options but CD Baby only charges you once to release a project where other companies charge you to renew your project every year which can become costly over the years. CD Baby also has its own store which allows physical merchandise sales, such as CD's. This option is available when you release a music project.
4. Music Sales Measurement
Register your work with these song tracking services to collect royalties.
Information and sales tracking system established in 1991
A Neilson company, auto recognition for CD's and digital files
This ensure that your songs will read properly in the car and other devices. You can upload this information through itunes.
5. Free Distributors
Other digital platforms where you can place your music to earn royalties.
YouTube - Create a youtube channel where you can upload and monetize videos with your songs embedded to earn royalties. Recently youtube made a change that channels must have at least 1,000 subscribers to meet the criteria to monetize videos. Keep in mind that if you're able to monetize you can only do so with your original material. You can't monetize your video if you don't own the copyright for the music being played in your video unless you have a mechanical or synchronization license.
Facebook - Having an artist FB page is not only a promotional tool but it now pays royalties to P.R.O for music and videos streamed on their social media services.
Soundcloud - A streaming service that allows your to partner with them by uploading your music. Only until recently does Soundcloud pay royalties to artists who are registered with a P.R.O. If you become a premiere member (by invite only) you will be allowed to monetize your songs similar to the monetizing youtube allows.
After you've created this solid platform you can now set sail promoting and gaining spins, plays, streams, followers and fans for life.
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About Katie Ann
Composer of the album, Wedding Music, ASCAP member, Katie Ann, is a music producer and music artist who has successfully released many works of art through her publishing company, LK PRO. A certified member of Wedding Wire and Buffalo Bridal Association, Katie Ann is a singing pianist specializing performing weddings and other special events. As an accomplished musician she offers voice and piano lessons to aspiring children and adults.