How to Collect Music Royalties

As a musician, it’s essential to understand how to collect the royalties you are owed for using your music. Here is a guide on how to collect music royalties:

  1. Copyright your music

In order to collect royalties, you must first own the copyright to your music. This means that you have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and sell your music. You can copyright your music by registering it with the United States Copyright Office or a similar agency in your country.

  1. Join a performance rights organization (PRO)

A performance rights organization (PRO) is a company that collects royalties on behalf of musicians for the public performance of their music. In the United States, the three main PROs are ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. By joining a PRO, you can ensure that you are paid for the public performance of your music, including when it is played on the radio, in a live venue, or on television.

  1. Register your music with a digital performance rights organization (DPRA)

A digital performance rights organization (DPRA) is a company that collects royalties on behalf of musicians for the digital performance of their music. In the United States, the main DPRAs are SoundExchange and the Harry Fox Agency. By registering your music with a DPRA, you can ensure that you are paid for the digital performance of your music, including when it is streamed on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora.

  1. Register your music with a mechanical rights organization (MRO)

A mechanical rights organization (MRO) is a company that collects royalties on behalf of musicians for the reproduction of their music. In the United States, the main MRO is the Harry Fox Agency. By registering your music with an MRO, you can ensure that you are paid for the reproduction of your music, including when it is sold as a physical or digital download.

  1. Keep track of your royalties

It’s important to keep track of your royalties and make sure that you are being paid correctly. You can do this by regularly checking your statements from your PROs, DPRAs, and MROs and comparing them to the use of your music. If you notice any discrepancies, make sure to report them to the appropriate organization.

By following these steps and regularly checking your royalty statements, you can ensure that you are collecting all of the royalties you are owed for the use of your music.

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