There are a few things you should know before publishing your music if you don't want to get a surprise afterwards. Otherwise, you might run into problems you didn't even imagine existed when it comes to publishing your own music.
1. 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.
2. Find a distributor:
What is a digital distributor and how to choose the right one for you?
Distribution of music today is something totally different to 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 on, 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 royalties
All major stores are covered
Still new to the industry
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 are hard to access and understand
4) CD Baby
Prices: $9.99 for a single and $29.99 for an album
Trusted by many musicians worldwide
Takes a small percentages of digital revenue
Won’t let you split payments with other artists
Extra fees associated with collecting YouTube royalties
3. 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 platforms IA, as they detect similarities between songs with the same loops. Even though this sort of situations 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:
Get original vocals for your track to avoid copyright problems. The main reason for problems on streaming platforms are free royalty vocals. Many times the Content ID IA gets triggered because a track is very likely to other ones already published with the same acapella.
A.B.Reasonable use of melodic loops:
The best scenario in relation to this matter is publishing tracks which 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 modify some of the loops
Adding your own original elements to the composition
As it said above, this problem is due to errors on 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.