I’ve used Tunecore and CD Baby in the past and moved over to Distrokid a year ago as I’m realising singles every month and an album once a year – I am starting to get a litte frustrated as the more collaborations you add, the more it costs. Using tunecore for distribution. If I’m registered with ASCAP as a songwriter and publisher, and I also register with Soundexchange, will that pick up all of my over-seas royalties?? Most societies require them to be claimed within 2-3 years. Let me just say thank you Brian for this informative and detailed article! We reached the limit on threading replies! The PRO’s, Harry Fox, Sontrust, Soundexchange, cdbaby, onerpm,, etc. As for SoundCloud, I have no idea. As for the song registration, you don’t have to pay per song, at least not right away. This is a complicated subject, as you’ve seen! Yes, you absolutely positively still need SoundExchange. I have learned that publishing is where the money comes in as far as the music industry is concerned. Songtrust doesn’t have any sort of separate registration for publisher accounts. they would be kind of like my internet police preventing other youtube/soundcloud etc. I’m trying to understand where the ROI is on Songtrust. I’ll edit the article to make that clear right now. I’m not happy about it. I must say, it is a very lengthy process so it’s important that songwriters/publishers read all the terms of their publishing administration agreement, in case they want to make the big switch. You mentioned Songtrust and AdRev. Have you done the math? Worse, they can get a copyright claim after you told them it was okay to use the track. Cool, thanks for your info, Brian. Rumblefish does that too, but is mainly a music library that will license your music for super cheap. Their system for tracking plays is much more advanced. The difference is, with CD Baby Pro you have to pay by the release. Thanks for the kind words Joni! And the song they are singing isn’t remotely like mine. ie the chicken or the egg, register demos with songtrust before applying to a record company, or wait till they say they want to work with me and then register my whole “catalogue” and for each track they want, change the info at songtrust to reflect new co-writers and where royalties go? Always make sure to reference your agreements for clarification and ensure you have split sheets filled out to get your ownership stake in writing. Required fields are marked *. i’ve spent lots of money on promoting it and currently still doing so, how do you suggest i go about getting my benefits? Is it if I gety radio play? If you sign up with Songtrust directly, your entire catalogue is covered. ; Businesses Get complete song performance insights and new ways to collect revenue. As to whether or not it’s a good idea, I suppose the same guidelines apply. That’s really nice of you to offer! Thinking I probably won’t register with Songtrust since I’m already on ASCAP as both a writer and publisher. As for distribution, I’ve never needed to handle splits, so I’m not sure what other options there are. or Sound Exchange? Elligibility. Artist definitely come out on top. You could set up your own label/business, sign yourself to that business, release a song, then apply for HFA affiliation that way, which would basically allow you to keep that 15% commission Songtrust takes. I’m in the same boat actually, releasing material with another producer. Plus they also have an internal team that helps with getting on playlists, also at no cost. that’s a little misleading. CD Baby has always been my recommendation, and the bulk of my discography is with them. I got registered using the code! As far as I know, CD Baby doesn’t allow you to set iTunes pricing at $1.29. I’m currently signed up with CD Baby (not CD Baby Pro). The first thing that most young songwriters in the US hear is “you need to sign up for ASCAP or BMI to make sure you get your songwriter royalties.” I have to hand it to ASCAP and BMI’s PR departments. I wouldn’t bother registering your songs with Songtrust until they’re released. You do that directly with the library, for free. A client of mine had a terrible experience, and when I read stuff like “in stores 10-20x faster than any other distributor, at a fraction of the price” it’s hard to take them seriously. Hi, Brian. If you browse through my articles, you’ll find plenty of lukewarm to mildly negative reviews with affiliate links. I actually work at AVL Digital (CD Baby’s parent company) and after hearing horror stories from Tunecore customers and what I’ve learned about Distrokid from this thread, I can say I’m happy with how we handle our VIPs. I believe that you collect mechanical royalties from YouTube through their ContentID system, which you can access through most distributors, or Songtrust. Launched in 1914, ASCAP is … Thank you Brian, CJ, and Joe for the replies! Songtrust works with over 50 of these pay sources so our clients only have to enter their song data once, into our platform, and we then send it out globally to all of our partners for registration. You only pay once and your release is up forever. None of the agencies you’re working with has anything to do with copyright. This is separate from your Payoneer account and Songtrust, and must be done in your ASCAP account. Why release through both CD Baby and TuneCore? CD Baby took money in full for the pro set-up but after many years, never paid out a single penny from the time I purchased. So essentially, CD Baby + Songtrust = TuneCore + TuneCore Publishing. I always recommend CD Baby. You also retain the right to collect the sync license fees from those licenses.” The key word here is “STEALING”. I’m learning as I go. It doesn’t feel secure in mine either. They have to pay people to listen, after all. Thanks for this candid, well-written article. I don’t bother with YouTube monetization. I’m not sure I’ve earned enough from those sources to compensate from the 15% taken directly from my ASCAP payment, but my life feels tidier knowing I’m not missing out on potential income. What changes did you notice on your backend at ASCAP? The way I read your description is that your payments are indeed behind thanks to HFA, and your cancellation prompted Songtrust to turn the screws on them a bit. If you find out that’s not the case, please let me know! You have to dig in to find the information, but it is there. Your email address will not be published. So, factor in that although sentric say 20 and songtrust say 15%, if you are a UK citizen being paid in the UK, you have to use payoneer and so it’s almost closer to 17%. Since receiving this I replied immediately requesting confirmation of my membership cancellation. That depends. Best, I’ve heard great things about them from Pete Byrne of Naked Eyes. SongTrust vs ASCAP/BMI/SESAC Can someone please explain what is difference of using a resource like Songtrust vs Direct registration with the P.R.O.'s. So it’s not quite as simple for Brit songwriters to compare. I’m registered as a writer in France with a PRO (SACEM) and registered as my own publisher in the US with ASCAP, so what will be the difference if i’ve join to songtrust? Hey Brian, I've contacted CS, so far nothing.I feel completely screwed! Songtrust - Music Publishing Royalty Collection and Administration from ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, HFA, Music Reports and more. At present the royalties are paid out by market share but we hope to move this to a play by play basis as soon as possible(this is up to Facebook). Fortunately, Songtrust more than made up for it by collecting an additional $322 for me that I wouldn’t have otherwise received: What about those missing radio royalties from 2000? Thanks for the helpful info from your article. I am new to music publishing. The rejection email is just a form letter, though it does say I should feel free to apply again in the future. In any case, I think you’re better off registering direct with Songtrust once rather than paying extra for every release through CD Baby. It still is the songwriter pays the industry where it should be the industry pays the songwriter. I suppose if you’re releasing an album every year, even $35 isn’t bad. Sounds like someone didn’t read the article. I just wanted to share my positive experience with DistroKid. So why would I go for Songtrust if it’s also exclusive? If not, what are you waiting for? As a publishing administrator, we're authorized to register your works and collect money on your behalf - you still own and control 100% of your copyright. I don’t get it. Also, I’ve already put out 12 songs, 9 this year, 32 more already scheduled to release this year, am I going to have to pay to register for each 10 songs that I decide to put out? My guess is there’s no difference because they all use the same ContentID system through YouTube. At Songtrust, we have invested a lot of time and resources into developing working relationships with over 50 societies and pay sources around the world, so that whenever you have a stream, radio play, live performance etc somewhere in the world, if your song is registered with Songtrust, we can collect the royalties due to you. You should probably check out Stem.is. And SoundCloud through Premier monetization. But before I fill in all my information and attach my catalog …. I’d be curious to know what your client’s negative experience was, because I’ve had nothing but smooth sailing with them. ; Businesses Get complete song performance insights and new ways to collect revenue. If you need more than 50 credits, we charge 10$ per 10 songs going forward. If/when you do get paid, you’ll never know if it’s because of the extra licensing submission Songtrust did on your behalf, or whether HFA simply caught up. Why Songtrust; Who Uses Songtrust. You might also say that we have more companies advocating on our behalf to collect money that we otherwise wouldn’t see. If you make your own original music as an independent artist, songwriter, producer, composer, or lyricist, there are more opportunities than ever to earn significant income from music publishing.. Thanks! Thank you so much for this article Brian!!! Are you saying that I can go out and get a publishing deal and that publisher would then show up on ASCAP as my 50% partner and then Songtrust would just be there but not receiving 50% but would then be listed as my “admin publisher”? I’ve been wondering how TuneCore Publishing compares to Songtrust, and the fact that you’re going through the hassle of moving your catalog over says a lot. Overall it’s been a really frustrating time with Songtrust, I do not ‘trust’ Songtrust and would warn musicians to make 100% sure they are getting the royalties they are due as my experience of them is poor customer services and very poor royalty collection. What's the Difference Between Songtrust and Audiam? Also I’m not happy with cdbaby. First I always had a bunch of “sales” which paid about “67” cents each year. Hey Brian, thank you for the article. I don’t remember reading that Songtrust would show up on my ASCAP account as 50% publisher. And I would be very appreciative if you have an idea –like is this done intentionally? Hey there, If so, have you tried them? It’s 99 cents minus Apple’s 30% minus CD Baby’s 9%. They are still yet to get back to me but thanks again anyways. The promoter guessed I’d get back about $1500 in royalties from the airplay, but I never got a penny, despite hounding ASCAP for months. I have queried many times with their customer service and they kept telling me to be patient, royalties will start coming in soon. Nothing wrong with that, but again… what are you expecting Songtrust to do? I’m skeptical of DistroKid. Songtrust will handle the PRO stuff for you if you choose, but I handle SoundExchange directly. You can’t even specify a release date on their $20/year plan! But then I see mention of soundexchange. It may seem trivial, but it is largely a vanity company after all … I’d like it to remain associated with my works! I will let you know how it goes, maybe “staff writer” isn’t the right term!!! My personal feelings are that under new ownership of cdbaby I haven’t received one “download” in three years. Well, it’s not so simple: for one thing, since SESAC is invitation-only, the choice is really between BMI and ASCAP, and … I have a question for you. I know for a fact that I should be due a lot more than 20 cents, for example one song I own the master and publishing rights to has over 24,000 streams on Spotify alone. You do need to be affiliated with a PRO in order to use Songtrust's service. Songtrust look great but with 15% commission and a 2% fee to deposit funds seems a bit steep. The plan is to go to a record company and try get a deal to write exclusively for them. Imagine my shock when I logged in a few months later and saw a NEGATIVE BALANCE of $305.05!!!!!!!!! As I understand it…You can register with a PRO as publisher and writer(performance royalties). If you’re not already affiliated with a Performance Rights Organization – ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, IMRO, or another PRO – you can affiliate for one directly through your Songtrust account. Any such licenses will be between you and your licensees. Hi Jason, I recently signed up with songtrust thanks to Noelle Gambunti. #peace. I wasn’t attached to a PRO yet (am getting signed with ASCAP through SongTrust now) but moving forward should i register with the PRO first then import that into SongTrust to avoid that fee? I think I want to join Songtrust for publishing admin. I’m really not sure if both HFA and Songtrust apply their regular fees, but my guess would be yes. I joined Songtrust.. After reading on how much I paid the 100$’s and thought the 15% for there take was o.k. What publishing outfit would you recommend i use being that i am neither american, canadian or from the UK and how do i go about it. Also, how does a Jamaican sign up for Songtrust? I have my first single that I’m trying to release in the most efficient yet thorough way, which is why I ask this. My guess is you don’t have your own publishing company, so it just shows Songtrust. ASCAP just uses the song title, they use ISRC codes, audio fingerprinting, metadata, and the song titles so they find more of my plays. I get my Pandora money from SoundExchange. I just fired off an email this morning, and will let you know as soon as I hear back! I will pitch them some of my unreleased demos, which are instrumentals. I would’ve thought the code would’ve dried up by now. As far as I can see, everything checks out for you a-okay! Songtrust is a publishing administration company. Is Songtrust a Performing Rights Organization (like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC)? You need an account to post a reply. Etch-A-Sketch Hey I just ran across this article while reviewing Songtrust, liked what I read, (very informative) and crossed my fingers that the code was still active. So I am in the process of releasing a single. The key is, with Songtrust you’re entering into an exclusive publishing ADMINISTRATION deal. And, again, you have to import your setlists. I joined Songtrust a few months ago. I get a reply that states: “A CD Baby Pro account with that email already exist. I work with Marmoset and they’ve generated a couple great placements for me. I’ve been with them since the very beginning (Derek actually handled CD sales on my site pre-CD Baby) and they’ve generally been great. I’ve ended my contract with Tunecore and am in the procedss of transferring an a catalog of 80+ songs administered by Tunecore to Songtrust. After that, they are redistributed to their members or blackboxed to cover operational costs. True I don’t make a lot of money on cdbaby but I have a lot of streams. ; Creator Reps Managers and lawyers connect with the most extensive, accessible publishing network in the industry. I am now signed up with Songtrust. When you buy products through links across our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. I’d love any advice in this regard. Until then, they won’t be out there earning royalties, and it doesn’t protect you from someone stealing your song like registering with the US Copyright office (which I personally wouldn’t bother with either). Secondly, if that is the case and I am left with either TuneCore or CDBabyPro, which would you recommend for somebody who will likely not release more than a couple singles and 1 album in the foreseeable future? The tradeoff is it’s 15% commission vs 9% for CD Baby. The sign up process was very easy and I will report back with some stats/ info. I can’t remember the full extent of my client’s experience, but I do remember that he couldn’t get ahold of anyone for a week or so, and he was stressing because his release date was coming up. To the best of my understanding, even if you affiliate directly with HFA, you still haven’t covered Music Reports in the US, or any of your mechanical royalties outside the US. This is because it typically takes up to 12 months for Songtrust to register your songs globally...". Is that right? Songtrust currently offers direct affiliation to ASCAP, BMI for U.S. writers and SOCAN for Canadian and non-U.S. writers. But, I’m working with an artist who’s relatively small, but growing over time. It’s still way too early to say “hey where’s my royalties”. As far as copyright is concerned, since in the US you automatically are considered the copyright owner, will songtrust be able to ensure that my work is copyright protected overseas as well or would I have to copyright it formally? Two forward one back it was for a bit, trying to get the ball rolling. I use Songtrust and they only collect the Publisher's share of my royalties. Would you be able to help me out with this? Well, from your PRO or your admin publisher. I was hoping there was a pot of gold waiting for me when I joined Songtrust, but it was more like a jar of pennies. CD Baby Pro looks promising but…given that a copyright lasts the life of the composer, plus 70 years, it seems antiquated for an Account Holder to have to provide co-writers with writer splits and sales updates for a lifetime. The author asks if it’s worth joining Songtrust or just using a PRO only. I think I got $26 last quarter from Songtrust. If you are close to that number, growing, or have high expectations around your next project I suggest pulling the trigger sooner than later so that you can increase your long term cashflow and ensure the royalties don’t fall into the black box. They are usually from Spotify but have gotten them from other companies. Yes, definitely let us know how you like it! The thing on my cdbaby account summary sometimes says “a sale” but if you click on the details it’s shows a “stream”. What’s the difference in me going with Songtrust when I am using CD Baby Pro because aren’t they affiliated? As a newbie wanting to publish some lyrics I have been writing for some time but never yet published, where should I start. Is there something i have to do first? Wow, thank you so much for writing this article! There is a lot to learn and like one person above mentioned, so many hands dipping into the pot these days, it is more confusing than clarifying when you get out there and try to figure out what step to actually take next or what company to bring on board. While you are right about the release day on their $20 plan, you can specify it for just a little more – $35 I believe. (Seeing as that is where i am from). . As a newbie, I didn’t know better when I signed up with CD Baby AND TuneCore. The site stated NOTHING about charging $10 per song. I used the code without even reading the article and have since gone through and read it and am now wondering if I’ve made a mistake. My understanding is, as you described, that CD Baby collects the domestic mechanical royalty. Hi Brian, I’ve been a full time composer / producer for TV & Radio and a BMI member for over 20 years. I’m based in the UK and use PRS for collecting performance royalties and distribute my music with Distrokid. We act as a publishing administrator to collect publishing royalties on behalf of songwriters. Thanks for the article. Obviously, the sooner you get on it, the better! For instance, if I joing Audiam, it looks like they are a publishing admin AND they collect master recording royalties via youtube content id, while Songtrust is only the publishing admin. Also, thanks for making this the article that has helped so many (and continues to help so many!). So i’m looking elsewhere and will be gradually moving everything over. I feel you on asking them most of these questions directly. For me, setting up a publishing company was super easy. Your reply will be highly appreciated. Since they’re not your songs, IMHO that’s even less an issue! Each territory throughout the world has a performance and mechanical agency/society that collects royalties within that area. Music Reports!! Hi Brian, Can I Join if I Already Have a Publishing Deal? If so, it’s much better to sign directly with Songtrust…, I’m just wondering as I want to distribute my music via CD Baby and sign with their publishing service, but I’m not sure if they take an additional cut after Songtrust take theirs. This doesn’t quite make sense. Lastly, is there any other way aside from using Songtrust that would allow me to sign up with a PRO without having to make a vanity publishing company? Songtrust exists to help you collect the money you’re owed, but you aren’t generating any yet. What I don’t understand about your article is that you mention Tunecore has a catch: you have to work with them exclusively for licensing. I’m not sure exactly what you’re hoping to get out of DistroKid or Indigoboom (which I’ve never heard of). Hey Brian, very informative article ! I don’t wanna go through the hassle and $$$ of setting up a LLC vanity company just to collect my publishing. . They don’t do what Songtrust does. You still own 100% of your copyright. I am not making any money or collecting any royalty but i know my song are definitely being downloaded and streamed online. Bug music for now, let’s take 030% of mixing/mastering songs can offer you need distribution include. It has been SO easy to use and I really like the ‘pay once’ model – even though it’s a bit more up-front. Great info. The site stated $100 to join, and they would take 15%. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC). We will only 102 albums are’international standard and she’ll. Thanks. Though lately I’ve been testing out LANDR for distribution and am happy with them as well! And, who has the time to register with every PRO in every country and keep track of anything that's going on there? ; Businesses Get complete song performance insights and new ways to collect revenue. On a historical basis(2015-2018) 200-250k streams may be more likely to hit the $117.56 you need to recoup your $100 signup fee. One thing I am still unsure about is how to collect the mechanical royalties from YouTube. Launched:1939 Membership Size:800,000 members Official site: BMI.com Socials: @BMI Location: USA About:BMI is one of the biggest and well known Performing Rights Organizations in the United States. You pay $5 more per single and $40 more per album. Seeing as we can’t apply directly to HFA though, I don’t see a better option. They haven’t changed this Terms since 2014, I guess. I never got to be good at “social-media”. Hi Ken, I think the biggest problem with soundtrust here is this venue we are speaking in. Thankyou Brian for shedding some light on the “publisher” thing on ASCAP. I wonder if it’s just the genre? Are there any other options I overlooked? They do a great job of making themselves known. Thanks. Songtrust and Tunecore Publishing are both publishing admins, so you can’t have both. Your email address will not be published. They take 5% AND have partnered with Loudr so that you’re able to release covers. Just wanted to say thanks for the Songtrust code (remember to use the capitals). It operates as a non-profit and was founded by radio executives to "serve as an advocate for the value of music" and to "support its songwriters, composers and publishers by taking care of an important aspect of their careers – getting paid," according to the BMI website. If you’ve already got songs registered with your PRO, they’ll pull them into their system for free. Am I correct? It’s important to note that if you entered into a ‘Work For Hire’ agreement where you’re paid an upfront fee for your contribution to a song, you may have given up any ownership stake on the song and would not be entitled to royalties. I say complex because there seem to be many hands now dipping into the music of the independent artist. Just signed up using the discount code. I am switching from what i feel is a BOGUS Distributor (DITTO MUSIC) to a better choice. So if I submit music directly to a music library, would I still have to register that music with a P.R.O. Thank you for answering everybody’s questions and sharing your experience and knowledge. It gets much more complex as each country/pay source has their own way of operating but I’d definitely suggest checking out our Help Center where we have over 400 articles explaining the intricacies of publishing and how Songtrust operates within the space. Next, they’ll register an unlimited number of songs with over 45 collection societies worldwide. Wow, that doesn’t sound like them at all! Yeah, it’s confusing stuff. As of August 2019, Songtrust has collected a total of $804 on my behalf. Is that mechanical royalty money you also retrieve? I’m a member of the norwegian PRO Tono (www.tono.no). None of these numbers are very big for me, and cover the peace of mind and simplicity I’ve had with DistroKid. Quickly? I am confused by some of the items addressed in the comments though. These royalties include performance royalties paid by Performing Rights Organizations (e.g. But he wrote a 3000 word essay on it. I’m lucky to see $10 a quarter these days. Songtrust use a payment company called payoneer to handle payments, and charge 2% for transferring into a GBP UK account from America! Do I need to register with an admin publisher to collect my mechanical fees or is that my PRO’s job? Beyond the financial uncertainty, there’s also the psychological uncertainty. I’m in the U.S., but I have a few songs getting streamed internationally (mainly Canada and the UK). I’m a songwriter and artist, and have recently set up my own corporation as publisher/label so that I can manage other artist as well as myself in the future. And don’t forget, you’re paying $10 per single and $50 per album every year just to keep them in distribution! Launched: 1939 Songhunters.com will let you know all who are looking for a certain type of music and all I have to do is send in every song I have that fits what they want, the only problem is I have to send in 15 dollars for each song. Do me and my group members register with a PRO under the collective name or do we just run individual accounts and split percentages when we work togther?? Personally I wouldn’t let that sway my decision. What has everyone’s experience been with each? Thank you. Thanks for your time and look forward to your response. Your ASCAP payments will come through SoundCloud. In 2009 CD Baby was sold and never recovered from their original innocence. I’ prefer to use a few companies as possible and don’t want to overlap, having 2 companies doing the same thing. Royalties are only sent to you through work undertaken by a PRO to ensure that their members are getting paid. I believe the PASSIVE-ST promo code is evergreen, unlike the early codes that expired after a certain number of uses. It’s hard to trust a “review” where you make money if people sign up to them through your link. It’s only recently I’ve looked into the mechanical royalties side and realised Distrokid don’t have a pro upgrade. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/gear-free-zone-shoot-the-breeze/1207709-spotify-notice-intent-obtain-compulsory-license.html I was pretty disappointed! What about on year five, when you have to decide whether to pay your annual TuneCore fees or pull the release? I hear mechanicals are are larger in comparison. I am Non-US and i am wondering (1)if I can register with BMI Publishing then with Songtrust for Publishing also. You’re absolutely right. I haven’t tested it with this tight a deadline, but it seems like it can be up next day. I’ve been reading all of these comments, and responses. Songtrust is an additive service to being registered with ASCAP. Songtrust, will collect overseas stuff so I’ll be signing up with them as well. If your split is already registered at your PRO then you should be fine to register your share with Songtrust so we can begin collecting your global performance and mechanical royalties.

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