Are you a musician looking to take control of your creative and business decisions? With the development of digital technology and internet platforms, self-publishing music has become an increasingly popular choice for artists who want to reach a larger audience and retain more of their earnings.
Therefore, self-publishing your music may be the best course of action. But if you wonder where do you start, and what should you consider before taking the plunge? So tune in, grab your instrument, and let's get started.
Which Factors to Consider When Self-Publishing Music?
There are a few things you should know before self-publishing your music if you don't want to get a surprise afterward. Otherwise, you might run into problems you didn't even imagine existed when it comes to publishing your own music.
Register your music
When publishing your music, it is important to be sure that you are legally covered, so before your music is released, the first thing you should do is register it.
You can go for a performing rights organization, which will take care of legally protecting your music in exchange for a fee, you can choose one from a wide variety, taking into account your location and preferences. As a second option, you can simply register it in a Copyright Registry, there are even online options and you can do it by yourself in a matter of minutes.
Find a distributor
If you're wondering what a digital distributor is and how to choose the right one for you, here's the place to find out.
The distribution of music today is something totally different from what it used to be back in the day. Radio stations, CDs, and vinyl records used to be the only listening formats available for audiences, and therefore distribution companies were working closely with record labels.
If a record label deemed your music good enough for release, your record deal would also give you access to the distribution company that is working with your label, so you would have the option to get your music to a wider audience.
Nowadays you do not need any of this to get your music out there, thanks to the many digital distributors available. Digital distributors are websites that allow you to get your music onto platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. Digital music distributors act as intermediaries between artists and online streaming platforms. Working with a distribution company will take music from your computer and give you the chance to share it with the world by making it available on streaming platforms.
Choosing a digital distributor could, however, prove to be a difficult task with so many options out there, so before signing up you might wish to consider things such as the number of streaming services on which you can get your music, or whether or not your distributor will be taking a percentage cut from your streaming royalties.
To help you find the correct distributor for you, we have included a list that contains information about some of the most used distribution websites:
Prices: Albums $29.99 initially + $49.99 each following year/ Singles: $9.99 per year.
Simple to use
Easy to understand structure and conditions
All major stores are covered
A bit too expensive for new users
Music may take too long to upload
Slow customer service and support
Prices: $4 per month for unlimited distribution/ $25 a month also includes access to mastering services.
You keep 100% of the royalties
All major stores are covered
Still new to the industry
The main focus is on mastering, not distribution
Prices: $19.99 per year for unlimited distribution
One of the best reputations for music distributors
Lets you keep 100% of the revenue
Only pay once a year for unlimited distribution
Includes some hidden fees
Analytics is hard to access and understand
Prices: $9.99 for a single and $29.99 for an album.
Trusted by many musicians worldwide
Takes a small percentage of digital revenue
Won’t let you split payments with other artists
Extra fees associated with collecting YouTube royalties
Other things to take into account
Using Free royalty vocals and melodic loops
Lately, the big streaming platforms are making their Content ID tracker system stricter. This may cause problems when publishing tracks containing free royalty-free melodic loops or vocals, even if they are properly and legally licensed.
This can lead to situations where an original song is penalized by the streaming platform IA, as they detect similarities between songs with the same loops. Even though this sort of situation should be solved by filing a dispute with your distributor, the reality is quite different since the support is not that good and the problem will be difficult to solve without lawyers, which is a problem if you are not an artist backed by a label.
We suggest the following tips
Original vocals - get original vocals for your track to avoid copyright problems. The main reason for problems on streaming platforms is free royalty vocals. Many times the Content ID IA gets triggered because a track is very likely to have other ones already published with the same acapella.
Reasonable use of melodic loops - the best scenario in relation to this matter is publishing tracks that contain only original content and only instruments created from scratch. If you use them, make sure of:
Using loops from a variety of different sources (if you use loops from one place, this kind of false match is quite likely)
Editing and modifying some of the loops
Adding your own original elements to the composition
As said above, this problem is due to errors in the AI faults of the streaming services and the bad support they offer in relation to these problems, and although you can always try to solve them, it is better to anticipate and try to avoid them in advance with these tips.
As far as YouTube is concerned, we recommend registering your music on YouTube's Content ID database before publishing your track on nowhere, to make sure that you can exploit it securely on this platform.
Self-Publishing Music Company
If you're looking for a self-publishing music platform, Edmwarriors is the best one. As the number one platform for this purpose, Edmwarriors gives musicians and artists complete ownership and control over their work.
With the ability to license your music in any way you see fit, this platform is perfect for those who are serious about their music and want to take control of their career. Whether you're just starting out or are a seasoned pro, Edmwarriors offers everything you need to self-publish your music and succeed in the industry.
Can I be My Own Publisher?
Yes, you can absolutely be your own music publisher. You have total control over your work and can keep all the money from sales and license agreements if you self-publish your music. By taking on the role of your own publisher, you may manage the marketing and distribution of your music, strike your own licensing deals, and retain full ownership of your creations.
The fact that you are your own music publisher, however, also means that you are responsible for handling your own business affairs, copyrighting your music, and efficiently promoting it. Self-publishing can be a terrific approach to building your career as an independent musician if you're ready to take on these obligations.
Pros of Self-Publishing Music
Self-publishing music offers a number of benefits that can make it an attractive option for musicians.
Self-publishing allows artists to retain complete control over their music and creative decisions. This means that musicians can make decisions regarding the pricing, cover design, formatting, and marketing strategies of their work without compromising with traditional publishing companies. This creative freedom can be invaluable for artists who want to maintain control over their work.
Self-publishing also allows artists to maintain ownership of their music and copyrights. This means that artists own 100% of the rights to their music and can license it however they wish. By doing so, musicians can avoid sharing their copyright or being bound by obligations that come with most publishing deals. Additionally, self-publishing also enables artists to collect full profits from their work, which can be a significant advantage.
Self-publishing music through an administrator can ensure that artists collect all of the publishing royalties owed to them in exchange for a small percentage of their earnings. This is another advantage of self-publishing as it enables artists to earn higher royalties.
Overall, self-publishing music can offer a range of benefits for musicians, including creative control, ownership of their music and copyrights, and the ability to earn higher royalties.
Cons of Self-Publishing Music
While self-publishing music has many advantages, there are also some possible disadvantages that should be taken into account.
It may not provide the same level of financial security as signing with a publishing company, as publishers typically give songwriters an advance when they sign a publishing deal, which is not the case with self-publishing.
Costs associated with production, marketing, and distribution may be significant upfront. For artists who might not have the resources to invest in these areas, this can be a drawback. Additionally, quality control may necessitate more work and money when self-publishing, which can be difficult for musicians who do not have access to expensive recording and production tools.
It's crucial to comprehend the related legal obligations while self-publishing. For instance, before pitching your song to artists or publishing companies, it is crucial to file for copyright with the federal government. Your work could be utilized without your consent if you don't do this.
While having more creative control, higher royalties, a quicker time to market, more flexibility, access to a wider audience, and the ability to keep ownership are all benefits of self-publishing music, it can also have drawbacks like a lack of financial security, high upfront costs, a lack of control over the quality of the product, and legal requirements that must be met.
In conclusion, self-publishing music has become a popular choice for musicians looking to take control of their creative and business decisions. Before publishing, musicians should ensure that their music is legally covered by registering it with a performing rights organization or a copyright registry.
Digital distributors are websites that allow musicians to get their music onto some platforms and while choosing the right distributor can be difficult, several popular options are available. Additionally, musicians should be cautious about using free royalty vocals and melodic loops as the Content ID tracker system on streaming platforms has become stricter.
Using original vocals and exercising reasonable use of melodic loops can avoid copyright issues on streaming platforms. With these factors in mind, musicians can successfully self-publish their music and reach a larger audience while retaining more of their earnings.
Why should I consider self-publishing my music?
Self-publishing music allows you to have control over your creative and business decisions, reach a larger audience, and retain more of your earnings.
What is a digital distributor and why do I need one?
A digital distributor is a website that allows you to get your music onto streaming platforms. They act as intermediaries between artists and streaming platforms, making your music available to a wider audience.
Can I use free royalty vocals and melodic loops in my music when self-publishing?
Yes, but be cautious as some streaming platforms have strict Content ID tracking systems that may penalize tracks with similarities to other songs with the same loops. It is advisable to use original vocals and modify melodic loops to avoid potential copyright problems.