There’s no handbook to being an artist.

What’s right for one may not be right for the other, especially when it comes to release and marketing strategies. More so, there isn’t a checklist that tells independent artists how to make sure they’re getting the most earnings and data out of their content, something that every artist could benefit from… Until now.

Artists have enough on their plates with the creative process alone; outside of it not being something you can rush, the act of creating and perfecting a body of work is a round-the-clock, 24-hour job. While you may see guides that give suggestions on how to promote your music, we’re here to tell you how to make sure all that promotion is being accounted for. So, here are 10 Things To Do After Making Your Music Available Online.

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Follow our 10 simple steps to make sure you’re getting the most earnings & data possible from your digital content

Follow our 10 simple steps to make sure you’re getting the most earnings & data possible from your digital content

1. Register with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)

Whenever your music is performed publicly, whether it be live in a venue or on TV and radio, the songwriters are due a public performance royalty. PROs are the agencies that collect these royalties and make sure that they find their way to you and your publisher.

There are three main PROs in the United States: ASCAP, BMI & SESAC. Once you register with one, be sure to submit your compositions to them.

2. Register with SoundExchange

When your music is played via non-interactive services (where you don’t choose the tracks you hear) such as Pandora or SiriusXM, the songwriters are due a digital performance royalty. SoundExchange is a non-profit PRO that collects these royalties and routes them to featured artists and sound recording copyright owners.

If you operate as your own label, you can register as both a featured artist and rights owner.

3. Submit your artist bio & images to All Music

iTunes & Spotify turn to All Music for the bios & images that are included on artists’ pages in their stores.

4. Set up Apple Music Connect

Apple Music Connect enables you to add a bio, images and exclusive content that your fans can engage with & share.

To get your account set up, follow the instructions here.

5. Verify your artist page on Spotify

Once you reach 250 followers, you can claim & verify your account on Spotify (and get that elusive blue check on your profile). Get instructions on how to do so in Spotify’s Artist Portal.

6. Register your title & ISRC with Nielsen SoundScan

Nielsen Soundscan tracks the sales and streams of music and video throughout the U.S. & Canada, and powers the Billboard Charts.

Register your title here, and your ISRC here.

7. Submit your release information to Nielsen BDS

Nielsen BDS (short for Broadcast Data Systems) is a service that tracks monitored radio, TV and Internet airplay of songs. This service also feeds into the Billboard Charts alongside SoundScan, so it’s important to make sure both are set up.

8. Submit your release information to Mediabase

Mediabase monitors radio airplay in the U.S. & Canada, and publishers charts based on the most-played songs on terrestrial (AM/FM) & satellite radio.

9. Register your entire song catalogue with Music Reports

Music Reports maintains SONGDEX, a proprietary database filled with rights information for millions of sound recordings & compositions. Registering your songs with Music Reports helps to ensure that you’re collecting performance royalties from the use of your music on platforms such as SiriusXM, SoundCloud & Amazon as well as local television stations.

To register your catalogue, email [email protected] with an excel spreadsheet containing:

  • Artist
  • Title
  • Album
  • Composers
  • Publishers
  • Percent You Own
  • Territories In Which You Have Ownership

10. If you’re distributing physical CDs, submit your track data to Gracenote

Gracenote helps with metadata recognition of CDs in cars and on laptops, and they also can help to ensure that you are receiving royalties for your copyrighted music. Submitting your track data to Gracenote can be completed by following these steps:

  • Open iTunes
  • Insert your CD
  • Highlight all the tracks and select “Get Info”
  • Input all related metadata
  • Click the gear icon on the top right, and select “Submit CD Track Names”

Checklist of things to do after releasing music

Use this checklist to make sure you’re getting the most earnings & data possible from your music

Have questions about any of these steps? Let us know in the comments below.

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