As an artist, understanding how to collect your royalties, both domestically and internationally, is crucial. Many of you have asked about this on my channel, and today, I'm here to demystify the process. You don't need to rely on automated publishers like Songtrust. Before such services existed, artists managed just fine with the same tools available to you now.
The Easy Way vs. The DIY Way
While services like Songtrust, CD Baby Pro, and Tunecore Publishing offer a straightforward solution, they aren't the only options. As you grow in your career, you'll see the benefits of controlling your administration rights and realize how simple it is to collect royalties independently.
The DIY Approach
In the US, the system for collecting royalties can seem daunting, but it's entirely achievable. Here's what you need:
For Publishing Royalties:
PRO account (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, GMR)
Harry Fox account
Music Reports account
For Neighboring Rights Royalties:
Mistake 1: Distributor Dependency
Many artists let their distributors collect 100% of their royalties, believing it's hassle-free. However, these distributors are doing what you could do yourself – collecting your money from the accounts mentioned above.
Mistake 2: Incorrect Registration
Another mistake is trying to register for all these accounts without understanding the correct order of operations. This can lead to significant complications and delays in royalty collection.
American PROs, The Harry Fox Agency, and Sound Exchange have international collection agreements. Simply authorize them to collect on your behalf, and you're covered for international performance, mechanical, and neighboring rights royalties.
Why Control Your Administration Rights?
If an agent wants to clear a song for sync, and you're using a service like Songtrust, they must go through them, resulting in a 15% cut from your earnings. Controlling your rights ensures faster and fuller payment.
The Benefits of the DIY Method
While you might not earn much in publishing initially, managing your rights independently means no middleman fees. It also prepares you for future deals with real publishers and gives you direct control over your finances.
Building it yourself
60-Day Record Label Course
For those looking to build a label or publishing company quickly and efficiently, to do exactly what I'm talking about in this post, check out my 60-Day Record Label course. It's designed to help you navigate the industry, handle contracts, and collect royalties without the middleman.
New readers, don't forget to grab my free guide, "10 Ways to Increase Your Record Label Profits," available below!
Registering Yourself vs. Songtrust
Faster access to your money.
Readiness for future deals.
Loss of control over business operations.
Conclusion: Empowering Your Musical Journey
In conclusion, the journey from confusion to clarity in managing your music royalties is a significant transformation. By embracing the DIY approach, you've equipped yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to take control of your financial future in the music industry. No longer reliant on automated publishers, you stand empowered, ready to navigate the complexities of royalty collection with confidence.
Remember, understanding and managing your royalties is not just about collecting earnings; it's about asserting your independence as an artist and making informed decisions that shape your career. By taking these steps, you're not just collecting what's rightfully yours; you're also laying a foundation for long-term success and sustainability in an ever-evolving industry.
As you move forward, keep exploring, learning, and growing. Your journey in music is unique, and now you're better prepared to steer it in the direction of your dreams. Here's to your success and the exciting path ahead!