While Mainstream Artist have a team of people to make sure their music is released properly YOU DON'T. Being an Indie Artist can be time time consuming when it comes to registering your music and distributing where it needs to go. Many may think BMI is the only step but realistically BMI only collects royalties for Songwriters and if you're not registered as a songwriter you will miss out on royalties. You can read more about that in my Blog "You Own it So Claim it"
When releasing music it's easy to look over important things so I have put together the top 10 steps to follow when releasing and even after releasing. If you follow this blog you have seem similar notes about this earlier on but I decided to lay everything out in one Blog as opposed to writing out brutal details to each resource below. So I present to you My List!
1. Register with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)
Whenever your music is performed publicly, whether it be live in a venue or on TV and radio, the songwriters are due a public performance royalty. PROs are the agencies that collect these royalties and make sure that they find their way to you and your publisher.
2. Register with SoundExchange
When your music is played via non-interactive services (where you don’t choose the tracks you hear) such as Pandora or SiriusXM, the songwriters are due a digital performance royalty. SoundExchange is a non-profit PRO that collects these royalties and routes them to featured artists and sound recording copyright owners.
If you operate as your own label, you can register as both a featured artist and rights owner.
3. Submit your artist bio & images to All Music
iTunes & Spotify turn to All Music for the bios & images that are included on artists’ pages in their stores.
4. Set up Apple Music for Artists Beta
Apple Music for Artists enables you to keep tabs on how your music is performing and find out how your fans discover your music.
To get your account set up, follow the instructions here.
5. Claim your profile on Spotify for Artists
Designed to help artists & their teams get the most out of the platform, Spotify for Artists enables you to manage your profile and access key performance data about your music and fans.
Get started on Spotify for Artists here.
6. Register your title & ISRC with Nielsen SoundScan
Nielsen Soundscan tracks the sales and streams of music and video throughout the U.S. & Canada, and powers the Billboard Charts.
7. Submit your release information to Nielsen BDS
Nielsen BDS (short for Broadcast Data Systems) is a service that tracks monitored radio, TV and Internet airplay of songs. This service also feeds into the Billboard Charts alongside SoundScan, so it’s important to make sure both are set up.
8. Submit your release information to Mediabase
Mediabase monitors radio airplay in the U.S. & Canada, and publishers charts based on the most-played songs on terrestrial (AM/FM) & satellite radio.
9. Register your entire song catalogue with Music Reports
Music Reports maintains SONGDEX, a proprietary database filled with rights information for millions of sound recordings & compositions. Registering your songs with Music Reports helps to ensure that you’re collecting performance royalties from the use of your music on platforms such as SiriusXM, SoundCloud & Amazon as well as local television stations.
To register your catalogue, email firstname.lastname@example.org with an excel spreadsheet containing:
Percent You Own
Territories In Which You Have Ownership
10. If you’re distributing physical CDs, submit your track data to Gracenote
Gracenote helps with metadata recognition of CDs in cars and on laptops, and they also can help to ensure that you are receiving royalties for your copyrighted music. Submitting your track data to Gracenote can be completed by following these steps:
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”