How do you register your music?


last time I checked - some time ago, I admit - most services hosting music streams required some rights transferral of the music they hosted “for free” that went way beyond “we have the rights to stream your music to every user of our services” (e.g. including “we have the rights to sell your music in full or in parts”).
I am not sure if that is still the case, but it kept me from publishing my music on any of the (cloud based) services I checked.

Publishing music through such services might create some issues if you have registered your music (I think the English term to use here would be Collective Rights Management), so I am very interested in hearing about how you (the musicians using Patreon) are handling this.
Sure, having music all free would be cool - but if you want to make money from your work, you probably use any channel of income that is there, and if someone uses your music via Internet, Radio, TV or whatever you should get paid for that. Not everyone will become a Patron just to use your music, right?

Feedback is highly appreciated!


I might be wrong, but AFAIK there is no service that can take any rights beyond them streaming or delivering your content to their listeners/customers. I think today that would be unusual. All services I’ve seen claim that you keep all the rights to the music. You usually give them a non-exclusive right to distribute your music and (in some cases like aggregators like DistroKid or Symphonic Distribution) collect money for you. Radio and TV licencing is a wholly different beast from internet. Internet broke down the old distribution/monetization models. These old models (of DRM protection and what not) didn’t work on the internet. If you want money for radio/tv play you should register you music with collecting society. This is not in conflict with internet streaming and downloads (like iTunes). SoundCloud, Bandcamp and similar don’t require any transferral of rights apart from already said above.

EDIT: I read again your post, and let me clarify: if you put a song on a streaming service like SoundCloud or YouTube or Bandcamp, they have no right to sell your music in full or in parts.
Personally I would recomend using Bandcamp, who claim to be a “Fair Trade Music Service”. You can restrict your music only to streaming, allow downloads for a payment, allow downloads for an optional tip (name-your-price), or/and exchange for downloader’s email (so you can reach them with a new release). You can sell your home-made CDs or tapes of vinyl or USB-sticks through them. They take a cut of 10%.

I hate YouTube with their ads and SoundCloud feels like going down soon and they allowed some wierd take-downs of podcasters and mixers in the past. On the other hand I’m now in the process of switching from DistroKid to Symphonic Distribution (these two are good if you wnat to sell on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc).

Thanks, “novadeviator”,

you are probably right that streaming services changed their license agreements. Like I said, it has been quite some time that I last checked.
I don’t expect to make much money from my music, I am not making music for money at the moment (I did so in the long gone past, but that was long before the internet and before “making music” became the push of a button like pulling the lever on the water closet :wink: ).
It is simply that work I have published (e.g. documentary work) has been “pirated” before (by professionals who just give a shit about playing fair, because they are so famous) and, if I start publishing anything again on the internet, I would want to have some fundamental rights protection/fair feedback (or call it minimum revenue).

My personal experience with government associated rights control organisations has been horrible (I did not get money even though my work had met the criteria/was getting used and sueing those organisations is hopeless, as they always have more funds for buying courthouses).
Therefor my question here was indeed directed towards “alternative” ways of getting some control over how your work is used and, if justified, get some fraction of any revenue that is being made.

I am trying to register on soundexchange (they are providing some audio ID tracking service) and will look into the services you mentioned. Thanks again.


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I use Distrokid for my digital distribution, and they provide ISRC numbers for your recordings if you don’t have them registered yourself. I prefer Distrokid to CDBaby and Tunecore because they don’t take a percentage of sales. For songwriting you’ll want to sign up with ASCAP, BMI, or CESAC for your mechanicals, and a music publisher for publishing (Bug Music might be an option to look into). Sound Exchange is valuable for the performance royalties (as artist, not songwriter.) Of course, copywriting everything is an essential first step! The standard copywriter can cover both the IP of the song as well as the specific recording.

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