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How to Comprehensively Register Your Music to Receive Royalties

For independent musicians and songwriters, ensuring that you're fully and properly registered for royalties can be a challenging task, but it's a critical one. Royalties are essentially payments made to songwriters, composers, and music publishers for the use of their musical works. They serve as a primary income stream for many artists. So, how do you go about registering your music comprehensively to ensure you receive every penny of the royalties you deserve?

This blog will provide a step-by-step guide on how to do just that.

Step 1: Copyright Your Music

First things first, you need to ensure that you have legal ownership of your music. This is where copyright comes in. In the U.S., you can register your songs with the U.S. Copyright Office. While copyright is automatically granted to you when you create your song, having the song formally registered provides you with a public record and offers the best protection in the event of any copyright disputes.

Step 2: Register With a Performance Rights Organization (PRO)

Once your music is copyrighted, the next step is to join a PRO. These organizations collect performance royalties on behalf of songwriters and publishers when a song is performed publicly - for example, on radio, television, in clubs, or even on streaming platforms. In the U.S., ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are the main PROs. Each of these organizations has different strengths and weaknesses, so it's a good idea to research each one to see which will serve you best.

Step 3: Sign Up with a Mechanical Rights Agency

Mechanical royalties are earned when your song is reproduced, downloaded, or streamed. In the U.S., the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) is responsible for collecting and distributing these types of royalties. As an independent songwriter, you will need to register with the MLC to collect your mechanical royalties.

Step 4: Register Your Tracks with a Royalty Collection Service

Royalty collection services, such as SoundExchange, or Songtrust, can help you collect additional royalties that your PRO or MLC might miss. This can include royalties from digital performances on satellite radio or online streaming. These services typically charge a percentage of the royalties they collect on your behalf.

Step 5: Embed Metadata into Your Music Files

Metadata is the information embedded in a music file that identifies the track, album, and the copyright holder. It is vital to ensure that your metadata is accurate and complete because streaming platforms and other digital music services often rely on this information to distribute royalties. A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) or audio tagging software can be used to edit your music files' metadata.

Step 6: Utilize Glissando Distro for Comprehensive Assistance and Monitoring

For artists seeking a comprehensive solution to register their music and monitor royalties, Glissando Distro can be a great resource. Glissando Distro is a music distribution platform that assists artists in the complicated process of music registration and royalty collection, offering a one-stop service that can help simplify the process considerably.

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