Before we jump in, I have two questions for you:

  • When your song is used by someone else, are you getting paid for it?
  • If you’re not, how would you even know?

These are tough questions to answer. Sometimes it’s not clear how your music is being used, even when a contract is signed by both parties.

For example, are you retaining 100% of your writer’s share? How much publishing are you sharing with someone else, if any? Is your music being re-titled? What are the terms and territory agreements, and are terms renewed automatically?

These are just a few areas where you should at least have a basic understanding of how the money and rights flow with respect to your music.

Without this knowledge, you could be missing out on money you’re owed in the form of song royalties.

Let’s look at another example: If you’re a songwriter and you publish a song with 3 other writers, how will you divide the income produced from album sales, digital downloads, streams, radio play and other forms of consumption?

One simple way to get started is to follow the Creator Royalty Checklist created by Songtrust, a music publishing administrator Eleven partners with.

In short, you should be releasing your music through an independent distributor such as DistroKid or TuneCore. There are many choices in this area, so be sure to do your research to find the right one for you.

  • US-based songwriters should also affiliate with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) such as BMI or ASCAP.
  • You’ll also want to register with a publishing administrator, such as Songtrust, CDBaby or TuneCore.
  • Finally, register your songs with SoundExchange to ensure that you collect non-interactive streaming services royalties.

For some, the information above is a lot to process, so we’ll leave it there for now. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

Today’s Recommended Action: Review the Creator Royalty Checklist

Take some time today to think about today’s information and make sure you know where your music is being used and if you are receiving the proper song royalties. Be sure to use the Creator Royalty Checklist from Songtrust.