Tag Archive | tuneregistry

Why I Founded TuneRegistry

When I managed artists, I made this “Song Processing Checklist” to keep track of everywhere that I was aware of to register my artists’ music. It was daunting. TuneRegistry simplifies this.

Nearly 10 years ago I founded my first music company. It was called Renaissance Artist Management (RAM Artist) and I managed DJs who I had for several years prior booked often to play club events that I produced while in undergrad at UCLA. Some of these DJs were also aspiring music producers, so later I launched Loft24 Records and Loft24 Publishing to help them collaborate with artists and topliners. I picked name Loft24 because I was 24 years old and I lived in a loft in Downtown Los Angeles, which had been a goal of mine since my youth (I have no idea why). I had also signed my first two live acts – a singer/songwriter and a rapper/songwriter — after producing a multi-city mall talent search tour for Reebok…they were the winners.

Prior to founding RAM Artist, Loft24 Records, and Loft24 Publishing, I had some music business exposure having grew up in a multi-generational music family and having been an aspiring musician myself, but my knowledge was nowhere near as expansive as it is today (insert a lot of self-teaching and an eventual masters degree in music business).

One of the things I was really good at as a manager and music entrepreneur was creating systems and processes to make workflows efficient. This was necessary considering all of the tasks I had to juggle as an artist manager, label owner, and music publisher. And I had a daytime job as VP of Marketing & Partnerships of a youth-targeted retail chain and founder/GM of its music division.

I had previously built database-driven e-commerce systems at two companies where I had worked in marketing; and with a history of event production, I was generally a very logistical and process-oriented person.

At the time that I was managing artists, DJs, producers, songwriters and marketing music, I was unaware of software that would make my life easier in these administrative tasks. So, I built my own.

I had previously developed a checklist of everywhere that I was aware of where my client’s music needed to be registered before it was released. I used this “Song Processing Checklist” for every work in our catalog. I’d manually login to ASCAP and the Copyright Office systems to register works and record confirmation numbers. It was daunting!

To pitch our catalog, I built an internal platform called “Music Licensing Portal” (basically an early version of what DISCO or SourceAudio is today). I’d invite music supervisors to search our catalog and initiate sync license requests.

Then I built what would be my first music tech startup, SongBank, a marketplace where A&R’s could shop for unpublished songs using an audio fingerprint of a reference songs. SongBank was described as a robust cloud-based project management platform developed specifically for songwriters and record label A&Rs (I’m still unaware of anything like it on the market). I wanted to help undiscovered songwriters get placements on major label projects after my experience pitching my writers to A&Rs. I had brought on advisers who were A&Rs or VP of A&R at Hollywood Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Roc Nation, and Atlantic Records. I later stopped working on SongBank to launch Maven Promo (formerly ChazBo Music), which is an in-store independent music video network, which I sold to EMPIRE Distribution last year to fund the development and launch of RoyaltyClaim, the world’s first search engine of unclaimed music royalties, which I later sold to Haawk Inc and then to Made In Memphis Entertainment this year.

All of this leads me to this: TuneRegistry.

TuneRegistry is a software like no other. I conceptualized it based on all of the above experience (although I had been working on it prior to RoyaltyClaim). What started as a Word Doc checklist of places to register my client’s songs has evolved into a robust software to streamline the process of registering works across rights organizations, delivering music metadata across the music industry, the management of disputes and conflicts, and the insurance of royalty accountability, all in one place.

We had a setback for a few months, when I had to buy the company back from a company that had acquired it in 2017, but will be launching an new and improved platform on October 1st and I can’t wait

(Photos below are of the tools and platforms that I referenced above. I built these in my early twenties to operate my music companies and manage my clients’ careers more efficiently.)

My Thoughts On The MMA In Light Of The CRB Mechanical License Rate Decision

In light of the CRB’s ruling today to increase mechancial royalty rates for on-demand DSPs, I would caution against passing the Music Modernization Act without first amending it to include some very necessary guarantees for DIY musicians.

Given the recent ruling to increase mechanical rates, penalize DSPs for late payments, and remove the TCC cap DSPs will be more incentivized to cling to the safe harbor components of the MMA to limit their financial responsibility to songwriters.

I also fear that the blanket license (combined with the elimination of the statutory damages provision against infringement) would hurt more DIY musicians than protect compared to the existing compulsory licensing schema where today an independent can fully self-administer his/her mechancial rights via a service like TuneRegistry or with a third-party administrator like Songtrust. Why? Because the unclaimed/unpaid (aka “black box”) royalty fund will also increase by 44%, giving major publishers a bigger windfall of market share distributed gains from a royalty pool that generally belongs to unidentified independent songwriters.

What incentive does DSPs, who must pay the rates anyway, and major publishers, who will undoubtedly control the mechanical licensing collective body, have to ensure the works of DIY musicians are properly represented and accounted to and what power do DIY musicians have to assert their limited rights?

I could be completely and utterly wrong.

However, the devil is in the details and the MMA, while it does streamline the process of mechancial licensing in the United States for DSPs it also effectively limits the warranties and representations of DIY musicians.

Every article written about MMA is generally written from the perspective of publishers and NMPA members. As an advocate for and service provider to DIY musicians, my perspective is a bit different and more nuanced.

The decision today by the CRB was a win for all songwriters. The MMA is a win for major publishers. It must be amended.

[Podcast] Copyright Clearance Center Adds Recording Of “View From The Top: The Future Of Machine-To-Machine Rights Management” Panel Discussion From RightsTech Summit 2017 To Its Beyond The Book Podcast

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“View From The Top: The Future Of Machine-To-Machine Rights Management” panel at RightsTech Summit in New York

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Left to Right: Dae Bogan (CEO, TuneRegistry), Benji Rogers (CEO, dotBlockchain Music), Michael S. Simon (President of Rumblefish & CEO of Harry Fox Agency), Michael Shanley (Vice President of IT Business Development, Music Reports)

Machine-to-machine communication is the ideal scenario if we want to enable on a global scale, with as little friction as possible and at a reasonable cost, the licensing of works and the payment of royalties to rightsholders.  That at least is the stated premise for a recent discussion at the annual RightsTech Summit conference.

But how far have we come?  How close are we to achieving a digitized business environment for rights and royalties that is as fully realized as we see today in media distribution and consumption? Until code entirely does away with contracts will human beings will continue to add a value that no machine ever can?

“I think all of this starts with a human being. No matter what technology we apply to these systems, if a person doesn’t know how to interact or create the data that they need to disseminate, it’s just not going to get there,” said Michael Shanley of Music Reports. Technology evolves all the time, and I think we’re getting to great places in technology.  But education and information is, I think, paramount.”

Panelists for the session moderated by CCC’s Chris Kenneally included Dae Bogan co-founder & CEO of TuneRegistry, a music and rights metadata management platform; Benji Rogers, a British-born, New York-based entrepreneur, who co-founded the Dot Blockchain Music Project, an attempt to create a de-centralized global registry of music rights using blockchain technology; Michael S. Simon, President of Rumblefish, a world leader in music micro-licensing and YouTube monetization and also CEO of the Harry Fox Agency LLC, the nation’s leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry; and Michael Shanley, Vice President of IT Business Development at Music Reports, developers of proprietary databases and software applications that facilitate music rights administration.

Listen here.

podcast

Dae Bogan To Speak At RightsTech Summit – September 17 – New York, NY

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RightsTech Summit – September 17 – New York, NY http://rightstechsummit.com/

VIEW FROM THE TOP: THE FUTURE OF MACHINE-TO-MACHINE RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

If licensing and royalty payments are ever to be managed with the same machine-to-machine efficiency as media distribution and consumption, rights information must be put into machine-readable formats. A panel of senior executives from across media sectors to discuss the status of various initiatives to get rights information into machine-readable form, the challenges they’re facing, and how close or far we are from reliable machine-to-machine rights clearances.

PANELISTS:
Dae Bogan, Co-founder and CEO, TuneRegistry
Christopher Kenneally, Director, Business Development, Copyright Clearance Center
Benji Rogers, CEO, dotblockchain Music
Michael Shanley, Vice President of IT Business Development, Music Reports
Michael Simon, President & CEO, Rumblefish
MODERATOR: Christopher Kenneally, Copyright Clearance Center

Dae Bogan To Speak At Copyright & Technology Conference – January 17 – New York, NY

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Conference Program

January 17, 2018

Fordham University School of Law, Lincoln Center Campus, New York, NY

Copyright and Technology NYC 2018 is the ninth annual one-day conference that focuses on the dramatic and fast-moving influences that technology has on copyright in the digital age. We are the unique forum where technologists, attorneys, media industry people, and public policy decision makers get together in the same room for intelligent dialog over current hot topics related to copyright and technology.

Copyright and Technology NYC 2018 will offer New York State CLE credit for afternoon panels.

1:15 – 2:15 pm

Match Game: The Problem of Matching Music Recordings to Compositions

The dramatic growth of streaming has exposed an Achilles’ Heel in the music industry: matching sound recordings to their underlying musical compositions.  Music services face challenges in determining which songwriters and music publishers they should pay royalties for the tracks they stream for their users. Accurate linking of sound recordings to compositions has proven problematic: it has led to controversies and lawsuits as well as opportunities for technological solutions. We’ll discover the state of the art in technology as well as industry-level attempts to solve this growing problem.

  • Moderator: Paul Jessop, Founder, County Analytics
  • Michael Simon, President, Rumblefish and CEO, Harry Fox Agency
  • John Mancini, Partner, Mayer Brown
  • Dae Bogan, Co-founder & CEO, TuneRegistry and Founder & Chief Researcher, Royalty Claim

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https://copyrightandtechconf.com/

Eron Bucciarelli (Soundstr), Dae Bogan (TuneRegistry & Royalty Claim), Benji Rogers (DotblockchainMedia & Pledge Music), and Jason Trikakis (HelloSugoi) Submit ‘How Tech Can Save the Music Industry’ Panel for SXSW 2018 – How To Vote Details

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I’m excited to join fellow music tech founders Eron Bucciarelli (Soundstr), Benji Rogers (DotblockchainMedia), and Jason Trikakis (HelloSugoi) for a panel submission to SXSW 2018. Please vote and share the submission for “How Tech Can Save the Music Industry” #MusicTransparency

How Tech Can Save the Music Industry

The music industry is in dire need of change not only to thrive, but survive. Streaming, pirating and the secondary ticket market have dealt serious blows to our industry’s major revenue streams, but technology can be our savior. Join experts from the royalty, rights, ticketing and metadata blockchain sectors to learn not only how tech can provide short-term solutions, but also build a more sustainable industry. Join us to learn how tech can save the music industry. #MusicTransparency

QUESTIONS

  1. What are the current and near-future major issues of the industry that could be disrupted by technology?
  2. What solutions can tech offer and how can they be practically applied to our everyday lives?
  3. What is the long-term impact of these tech solutions? What happens without these solutions based on the current landscape of our industry?

SPEAKERS

CLICK HERE TO VOTE

 

How To Legally Record And Sell A Cover Song In 3 Steps

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This post was originally written for and published on Dozmia’s blog.

If the popularity of user generated content (UGC) platforms, such as YouTube and SoundCloud, has taught us anything about the music industry in the Digital Age, it is that aspiring artists from anywhere can amass huge online audiences and earn global reach by putting out cover songs that spark a reaction.

Success stories like those of Justin Bieber, Tori Kelly, 5 Seconds of Summer, Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes, and Ed Sheeran are no longer rare phenomena. Talented unsigned artists like Jade Novah and Austin Mahone have earned tens of millions of views and plays across their UGC accounts. Previously undiscovered talent have gone on to land brand sponsorships, live performances with major recording artists, appearances on TV, casting in commercials, and more– all without the backing of a major record label.

However, while recording and uploading cover songs to UGC platforms can be a great first step to building a fanbase, monetizing those songs on traditional digital music services can be a legal nightmare if not done correctly. Furthermore, knowing when, where, and how to capture all of the royalty streams that your cover recording earns will put you in a better position to reap all of the rewards from releasing a cover recording that takes off.

Here are three steps that you should take if you plan to legally record and release a cover song:

Step 1: Secure the proper licenses to reproduce and distribute the original composition.

The U.S. Copyright Act grants copyright owners six exclusive rights including the right to reproduce and the right to distribute their compositions in phonorecords. When you record a cover of an existing song, you are effectively using someone else’s copyrighted work and they must be compensated for the use when you distribute the recording in physical and/or digital media.

The law includes a provision that enables anyone to reproduce and distribute a composition by following the specific requirements set out in the compulsory license. These requirements basically state that you must notify the copyright owner of your intent to use their song and you must account to (provide reports and statements on usage) and pay statutory mechanical royalties to the copyright owner for each use.

The term “mechanical” refers to when songs were mechanically reproduced in phonorecords. The statutory mechanical royalty rates are set by the Copyright Royalty Board.

Currently, the statutory mechanical royalty rate for physical formats (CDs, cassettes, LPs) and permanent digital downloads (e.g. iTunes) is 9.1¢ for songs 5 Minutes or less or 1.75¢ per minute or fraction thereof for songs over 5 Minutes.

Harry Fox Agency (HFA), Loudr, and Easy Song Licensing are just three of the resources for securing a mechanical license.

HFA is a membership-based mechanical licensing agency owned by SESAC. HFA represents and issues mechanical licenses in the U.S. on behalf of their U.S. music publisher members. HFA’s website claims that they currently represent over 48,000 music publishers. This makes it easier for you to go to them for most of the top popular songs released in the U.S. HFA’s service for obtaining a mechanical license is called SongFile.

Through SongFile, you pay upfront for the number of physical or digital phonorecords that you project to sell. For example, if you will sell 1,000 CDs, then you’ll pay 9.1¢ x 1,000 = $91 per cover song, which will then be paid to the publisher(s) to compensate the songwriter(s). You can also secure a license for interactive streams. However, in the United States, some interactive streaming services already pays the mechanical interactive streaming rate, so you do not have to when releasing to these platforms in the United States. Spotify, for example, pays HFA for the mechanical license for songs used on their platform in the United States, so you do not have to worry about securing a mechanical license if you’re only releasing to Spotify.

The rates for interactive streams (e.g. Spotify) and limited downloads (e.g. offline mode) are determined by a formula that takes into account the service type, license type, whether or not it’s ad-supported, amounts paid to labels, and other factors. Spotify’s rate comes out to about $0.0007 per stream. Again, they pay this to HFA so you don’t have to!

Loudr and Easy Song Licensing are independent services that charge a small service fee (about $15 per song) to secure a mechanical license for any song that you’d like to cover. This is awesome because if you’re covering some obscure song from an indie band in Wyoming or an international songwriter from France, you wouldn’t be able to license the song through HFA’s SongFile, which only represents and licenses U.S. publishers.

When you’re getting a license through Loudr or Easy Song Licensing, do not select interactive streams. Like I mentioned above, Spotify is already paying this to HFA and other services are paying Music Reports, Inc. (MRI), which is a rights administrator that represents a number of digital music platforms. Outside of the U.S., digital services pay local collection societies, who then pay the publishers.

So, definitely secure a license if you’re releasing a cover song on a physical format. Definitely secure a license if you’re releasing a cover song as a digital download. If you’re releasing only to major interactive streaming platforms, then you may not have to secure a license because most of these companies pay HFA or MRI already.

Step 2: Get a unique code to distinguish your recording.

If you’re planning to do a cover of a popular song, chances are that many other artists have or will cover the same song. With multiple releases of the same song to the global music ecosystem, it is important to distinguish your recorded version of the original song from all others. This is done with a unique identifier called the International Standard Recording Code or ISRC for short.

The ISRC code is a unique 12-character alphanumeric code assigned to each version/mix of a recording (ie. QMZTA1700001). For example, if you have a live version and a studio version of your cover song, each will need its own ISRC. If you get a dance remix of your cover or do a stripped down acoustic version of your studio-produced cover, again each of these versions will require a unique ISRC.

When you distribute music digitally, almost all digital platforms require an ISRC for each recording. Your ISRC can and should also be embedded in the metadata of your recording file so that when your recordings are released as a digital download or on physical formats, the ISRC is attached to the recording.

Be very careful to only purchase ISRC codes from official ISRC Managers. ISRC Managers appointed by the US ISRC Agency, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), are the only companies approved to assign ISRCs on behalf of the owner of a recording. These companies have guaranteed that they will abide by the Procedures for Assignment of ISRCs by ISRC Managers.

Other companies claiming to assign ISRCs on behalf of their clients are not authorized to do so and the ISRC’s they generate are invalid and risk collisions with codes issued by authorized registrants and ISRC Managers. This happens when fake ISRCs are issued or legitimate ISRCs are re-used. This results in erroneous metadata being disseminated across the digital music ecosystem, which can result in missing or misallocated royalties and disputes.

TuneRegistry is an all-in-one music rights and metadata management platform that’s also an approved ISRC Manager offering free and discounted ISRC codes included in its subscription plans. You can quickly and easily obtain ISRCs for each of your versions/mixes inside your account and immediately use the ISRC with any digital distributor to get your cover song distributed. You can view a complete list of approved ISRC Managers at http://www.usisrc.org/managers/index.html.

Step 3: Unlocking your royalties and getting paid.

The goal of virtually all aspiring artists is to have their music heard as wide and as far as possible. When songs are hits, earning national and even international reach can happen literally overnight. And even when there is slow momentum as buzz picks up across blogs and social sites, the right mention, the right placement on a playlist can break a song within a matter of weeks.

Whether or not your cover song blows up to international success, you may still earn and be due royalties for the exploitation of your cover song recording. Although you will not earn publishing royalties related to the underlying composition (remember, the original songwriter is the copyright owner and compulsory license enables you to record and distribute a cover), such as performance royalties that are paid out by ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, you will own the master sound recording and will be able to collect master royalties.

Here are some of the income streams associated with the master sound recording and how you obtain the royalties:

  • Sales Income – This is pretty straightforward. You earn income when your recording is sold in physical format or permanent digital downloads. Sales are generally passed on to you through your distributor.
  • Interactive Streaming Royalties – When your recording is streamed on interactive platforms (e.g. Spotify), the service pays a streaming master use royalty to the distributor, who then pays you for the streams. The royalty rate is based on a formula that takes into account the type of use, the number of total streams, your share of streams, and territory.
  • Non-Interactive Streaming Royalties – Webcasters and digital services that broadcast recordings over the Internet (e.g. Pandora, iHeart Radio), cable (e.g. Music Choice), and satellite (e.g. SiriusXM) in radio-style programming where the end users/listeners have limited to no control over the selection of music pay a royalty for the digital performance of sound recordings to SoundExchange. SoundExchange then pays out 45% of the royalties to the featured performers on the recording, 50% to the copyright owner of the master recording, and 5% to a fund for background vocalists and session musicians maintained by AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. It is important that you register your track title, the performers, copyright owner (which will be you if you’re independent and not signed to a label), and ISRC to SoundExchange. This helps them to identify you and match incoming usage reports and royalties from digital services to you as the income participant. After joining SoundExchange, you can easily keep on top of registering all of your tracks directly through your TuneRegistry account. This way, you’ll never forget to make sure that you’re raising your hand to capture your non-interactive streaming royalties.
  • Master Use for Sync Fees – If your cover song gets licensed to a TV show, a movie, a commercial, or any other audiovisual media, you would need to obtain a synchronization license from the publisher of the composition. While you own the recording of your cover song, the copyright owner owns the composition and still give permission for the composition to be used in audiovisual media (this is a separate license from the compulsory mechanical license). The producer of the content will need to pay the synch fee for the composition and pay a master use fee for the master use license of the sound recording. These negotiations take place directly between the producer of the content (or their representatives) and the owners of the copyrights (you for the master sound recording and the songwriter or publisher for the composition that you’ve covered).

Now that you’re an expert on legally recording and selling cover songs, share the knowledge with your musician friends! No artist should be afraid to record and release cover songs — unless you’re releasing to YouTube, because that’s a different beast! The good news is, many publishers have opted-in to an agreement between YouTube and the National Music Publisher’s Association to earn a revenue share from advertisements placed on videos that feature recordings that embody their compositions. However, getting a license for YouTube could be down through We Are The Hits.

5 Royalty Streams Every Indie Artist Should Know

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This post was originally written for and published on Repost Network’s blog.

With the rise of music distributors and digital music aggregators, it has never been easier for an indie artist to release and monetize their music across the global digital music ecosystem. The Digital Music Era has significantly lowered the barriers to entry to the top outlets for music search and discovery; and startup entrepreneurs continue to develop and launch new platforms to innovate search, discovery, sharing, and access.

Today, music fans can easily access music from their favorite artists or discover new artists to fall in love with, pitting major established artists against their up-and-coming indie artist counterparts. And the music industry is changing for the better as a result (the Recording Academy now recognizes music released on free services for GRAMMY Award consideration and Billboard has accepted YouTube and SoundCloud streams for the purpose of charting).

Innovation in technology has made it possible for any indie artist with decent enough production tools and access to the Internet to record and release new music at any time. And with thousands of artists pumping out new music, it is no wonder that the industry has grown to over one million new tracks entering the global music market every month.

Each of these tracks begin earning royalties from its first play on any of the 400+ digital music services and 3,000+ webcasters operating around the world. And all of these royalties, billions of dollars of royalties, flow through a complex network of pipelines into various buckets of royalty collection with the ultimate goal of trickling down to the appropriate music creators and rightsholders. While this sounds straight-forward for a number of reasons this is far from a smooth process; and millions of dollars in royalties are in fact not making its way to the music creators and rightsholders to which they are due.

Part of the reason starts with you, the music creator. It is especially important for independent artists to understand the various income streams that your releases generate and the ways in which you must be setup to collect your royalties.

Here is an awesome infographic created by Future Music Coalition that visually breaks down how creators are compensated. Below it, I highlight five royalty streams that every indie artist should be setup to collect.

FMCmoneyflow

If you plan to release music digitally, you should be aware of and setup to collect all of the royalty streams that your music earns. Your music earns royalties for the use of two different copyrights. The first is the copyright for the composition (song). The second is the copyright for the sound recording (master). These two copyrights earn royalty streams that are collected and paid out by different sources to different income participants, as explained below.

Royalty Stream 1: Performance Royalties for Compositions

With few exceptions, virtually all uses of your composition earns performance royalties. Performance royalties are earned when your composition is played on digital radio-like services (e.g. Pandora), when your composition is accessed and played through on-demand streaming services (e.g. Spotify), and when your composition is performed in venues, bars, and restaurants. All of these companies have performance licenses from one or more performing rights organization (PRO). In the United States, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and Global Music Rights are the PROs who issue blanket licenses for the performance rights in compositions to digital music services. In return, these services pay royalties to these PROs. The PROs then pay 50% to the songwriter(s) of the composition and 50% to the publisher(s), in accordance with the publishing splits reported to the PRO by the copyright owners. In order to collect performance royalties, you must join a PRO and register your composition (your songs) and the associated ownership splits (for example, 4 Writers might have equal ownership (25% each) or varied ownership (Writer 1 – 25%, Writer 2 – 50%, Writers 3 – 12.5%, Writer 4 – 12.5%)) to the PRO in a timely manner. One of the reasons music creators and rightholders do not receive the performance royalties that their compositions earn is because they have not joined a PRO or have not registered their songs with their PRO.

Royalty Stream 2: Mechanical Royalties for Compositions

Mechanical royalties are earned when your composition is reproduced and distributed in phonorecords (a medium in which a sound recording is stored). This includes compositions embodied in sound recordings stored in physical formats (CDs, vinyl, cassette), MP3 permanent downloads (e.g. iTunes), and interactive streams (e.g. Spotify). In the digital music sector, streaming services secure mechanical licenses either directly from copyright owners or by utilizing the compulsory license as provided by copyright laws. Regardless of how they secure their mechanical license, the major services pay mechanical royalties to Harry Fox Agency (HFA) and Music Reports Inc. (MRI), who then pay the publishers of the composition. One of the reasons music creators and rightsholders do not receive the mechanical royalties that their compositions earn is because they have not registered their songs with HFA or MRI, who help digital music services secure the mechanical licenses. For unsigned indie artists, this can be much more difficult if you do not have a publisher because HFA only represents eligible publishers who’ve affiliated with them. MRI is a rights administrator and will issue notices to copyright owners if their digital music service clients intend to utilize the copyright owner’s composition in a manner that requires a mechanical license. Spotify pays HFA mechanical royalties for the compositions used in their platform. Amazon Music pays MRI mechanical royalties for the compositions used in their platform. (Note that in the United States, iTunes passes the mechanical royalty to the distributor, who then pays the label. If you’re an unsigned artist, then you receive the income since you are your own label. Outside of the United States, iTunes and on-demand services such as Spotify pay mechanical royalties to a mechanical licensing society in the territory represented by the society. In order to capture these foreign mechanical royalties, a publisher or administrator must affiliate with and register the compositions with the foreign mechanical collection society.)

Royalty Stream 3: Permanent Download Royalties for Masters

A permanent download is generally a sales transaction through a digital retail store (e.g. iTunes). This income is passed along to the distributor, who then pays the label (less any applicable commissions). If you’re unsigned artist, then you receive the income since you are your own label.

Royalty Stream 4: Interactive/On-demand Streaming Royalties for Masters

Just like a permanent download, interactive/on-demand streams (e.g. Spotify) of sound recordings generates master use royalties that is passed along to the distributor, who then pays the label (less any applicable commissions). If you’re unsigned artist, then you receive the royalties since you are your own label.

Royalty Stream 5: Non-Interactive Streaming Royalties for Masters

Unlike a permanent download or interactive/on-demand streams of sound recordings, non-interactive streams are not paid to your distributor. Webcasters and digital services that broadcast recordings over the Internet (e.g. Pandora, iHeart Radio), cable (e.g. Music Choice), and satellite (e.g. SiriusXM) in radio-style programming where the end users/listeners have limited to no control over the selection of music (non-interactive) pay a royalty for the digital performance of sound recordings to SoundExchange. SoundExchange then pays out 45% of the royalties to the featured performers on the recording, 50% to the copyright owner of the master recording, and 5% to a fund for background vocalists and session musicians maintained by AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund. One of the reasons music creators and rightholders do not receive the non-interactive royalties that their masters earn is because they have not joined SoundExchange or have not registered their tracks with their SoundExchange.

When you release music digitally, you should be aware of the various royalty streams that your music earns, where those royalties are collected, and how to claim your earnings. Your distributor is one source of income for two of the royalty streams mentioned. To unlock the rest of your royalties, you’d need a capable publisher and a record company or you’d need to stay on top of the administration yourself.

A great way to keep track of all of these royalties is a service we recommend called TuneRegistry.

TuneRegistry is an all-in-one music rights and metadata management platform for the independent music community. Easily organize and store your song details, recording metadata, credits and ownership splits, and release information in your TuneRegistry account. It’s your robust music catalog manager that’s accessible online, so you don’t have to worry about tracking down emails, storing through documents in various desktop and cloud folders, losing collaborator contact information, or any of the other messy issues that most indie artists face.

TuneRegistry is your one-stop source for keeping your music catalog in check.

The advantage of TuneRegistry over other catalog management systems is that we’ve integrated the registrations process directly to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Music Reports, SoundExchange, and many more. Save time, reduce errors, and unlock royalties with our integrated registrations module. We make it super easy to get your music registrations to the organizations and data services who need it.

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