Hey I wrote a hit song but never got paid, what happened? Has this ever happened to you? Probably not unless you are one of the 1.5 million songwriters and counting sitting back putting your best ideas and rhymes foot forward.
Record Execs who don’t write any songs but stack in millions on paper. We call them thieves in the music industry. So, just how do you protect yourself and earn the money you deserve?
First, register your songs with a Rights Organization such as ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. Make sure you have a writer’s account as well as a publisher’s account to protect your music. An investment of $35.00 will go a long way. You must have a publishing company to receive the big money. To register your publishing company ask your rights organization what the fee is. You can do so by registering the name as a Dba, LLC or Corp (e.g. Time Slot Publishing).
Second, if someone else helped you write the song, determine if there will be a 50/50 split down the middle or 50/40/10 depending on how many writers are involved. Know what your splits are and sign off on it with everyone in writing.
Third, make sure to copyright your songs. You can visit copyright.gov. You can register your songs online as an album or single for only $35.00.
Fourth, make sure you upload your songs to get encoded through Mediabase or BDS (Nielsen) so that whenever your song is played on the radio, satellite, etc, you can receive royalties for your song. If your song is registered with I-Tunes or amazon for example, you can also receive royalties from there as well. Make sure you are signed up with sound exchange to receive mechanical royalties which come to you and only you.
Fifth, work your song and make sure you have a plan on how to get it in rotation or pitch to an artist to perform your song. All steps above, makes way for great things to happen such as licensing your song out to tv shows, movies, films, etc. And have fun.
So, there’s no excuse to keep writing those great hits and have all of your business in order. (courtesy of Andrea Wilson, President)