Being an artist means being a creative– producing, innovating, and perfecting your content all day, every day. But how do you account for everything you put online? To ensure that you’re getting the most earnings and data out of your content, follow these 10 steps.
1. Register with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)
Whenever your music is played publicly, the songwriter is due a public performance royalty. PROs are the agencies that collect and distribute these royalties to you and your publisher. (Confused about royalties? Check out our blog post on the 5 royalty streams every artist should know).
The three main PROs in the United States are: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Once you have registered with one, submit your compositions to them.
2. Register with SoundExchange
When your music is played on non-interactive services, such as Pandora or SiriusXM, you are due a digital performance royalty. SoundExchange is a non-profit PRO that collects these royalties and distributes them to the appropriate artists and sound recording copyright owners.
Side note: if you operate as your own label, you can register as both a featured artist and rights owner.
3. Submit your Artist Bio and Images to All Music
Spotify and iTunes utilize All Music for the bios and images that are displayed on artists’ pages in their stores.
4. Set up Apple Music Connect
With a customizable bio, images, and exclusive content, Apple Music Connect lets you engage with your fans and share your music.
5. Verify Your Artist Page on Spotify
Blue check = Success! Want to learn how to setup a verified Spotify account?
6. Register your Title and ISRC with Nielsen SoundScan
Nielsen SoundScan tracks sales, music and video streams throughout the U.S. and Canada; powering the Billboard Charts.
7. Submit your Release Information to Nielsen BDS
Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems tracks monitored radio, TV, and Internet airplay of songs. Like Nielsen SoundScan, it also provides data for the Billboard Charts. So, be sure to register with both.
8. Submit your Release Information to Mediabase
Mediabase monitors radio airplay in the U.S. and Canada, and publishers charts based on the most-played songs on AM/FM and satellite radio.
9. Register your Entire Song Catalog with Music Reports
SONGDEX is the database, maintained by Music Reports, filled with rights information for millions of sound recordings and compositions. Registering your tracks with Music Reports ensures that you collect performance royalties across platforms like Amazon and local television stations.
To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org with an excel sheet containing:
- Percent you own
- Territories in which you have ownership
10. Distributing Physical CDs? Submit your Track Data to Gracenote
Gracenote tracks metadata of CDs in cars and on laptops, and can help ensure that you receive your royalties.
How to Submit to Gracenote:
- Open iTunes
- Insert your CD;
- Highlight all the tracks and select “Get Info”
- Input all related metadata
- Click the gear icon on the top right, and select “Submit CD Track Names”
If you follow these 10 steps, you’ll be sure to get the most of your data and earnings as possible.