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If you’re performing your original tunes live or releasing your songs and recordings, you should get your head around music publishing, copyright and royalties. Whether your self-publishing by uploading your music online, or engaging with a professional music publisher, understanding what you’re entitled to, how to receive your royalties and what you need to do keeps you and your songs protected.
We’ve got some handy guides below on the key organisations you should know, some tips and tricks, plus advice on best protecting your music.
Take a listen to our Sound Check webinar on Music Publishing and Roalties with Clive Hodson (Perfect Pitch Publishing) and Tenille Elkins (APRA AMCOS)
PUBLISHING YOUR MUSIC
As an artist or composer you can chose to self-publish or engage with a professional music publisher. This may include publishing your music online, in physical format, synchronisation deals for television or films, or radio airplay.
Get your music on community radio with Amrap VIEW
An initiative of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), the Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (Amrap) distributes new Australian music to community radio stations nationwide. All Australian community radio stations, music directors and radio program makers can apply to access music that Amrap sources from unsigned Australian musicians, major & independent record labels & music business enterprises. As an artist you can create a free account and upload your music for broadcasters to discover.
APRA AMCOS is Australia’s music rights management organisation responsible for issuing music licences for the use of original music, and paying royalties to music creators. Become an APRA AMCOS member is free and is an easy way to ensure you receive annual (and automated) royalties for live performances and use of your music by businesses, organisations and events.
PPCA is non-profit copyright collecting society that provides blanket licences for the use of recorded music in Australia. Revenue generated from licensing is distributed to registered record labels and artists so they can continue to make music for us all to enjoy.
RELEASING MUSIC ONLINE
Want to get your music online? There are a stack of different online music platforms you can publish and share your music to. Some you can upload to yourself, and others will require a digital music aggregator to distribute your music to stores and streaming platforms.
There are a stack of digital aggregators available, including Tunecore, Ditto Music, Gyrostream, CDBaby and more. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best aggregator for you:
DIGITAL MUSIC PLATFORMS
No aggregator required
On Bandcamp, fans can listen to your music and pay as they like, with the minimum set by you. They then get unlimited streaming access via the free Bandcamp app plus an optional high-quality download, which you can also offer for free in exchange for their email address to build your contacts database.
Unique to electronic artists and DJs, Beatport allows you to upload your mix, with the option to sell or share in a system that is market and genre orientated and sees high profile artists promoting their favourites.
Offering handpicked independent music, Earbits is curated by a team of music experts. You won’t find the usual mainstream stuff here, but if you’re wanting to be discovered then you can make submissions direct.
GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC
Google Play music is a streaming and podcast service. On Google Play, you can sell your music in the Google Play store and include it on the on-demand streaming service. You can submit your music yourself through the Google Play Artist hub or become associated with an aggregator and let them distribute it for you.
A music recommendation service that allows users to discover more music based on the songs they play. Create your own profile to share your music and connect it to similar artists for others to discover.
A whole profile building site, Sonicbids enables you to post your music, build an EPK, list gigs and is used by a number of festivals as their standard platform for applications.
Uploading sounds to SoundCloud lets you easily share them privately with friends or publicly to blogs, sites and social networks, as well as allowing downloads of your tracks, the sharing of others and the creation of playlists, all without the need for an aggregator.
Providing a forum for original content creators and advertisers, YouTube is oriented towards video/promo clips but is increasingly being used as a platform to showcase songs as well.
Apple Music is a music streaming service that features over 50 million songs from a range of artists. If you wish to be featured on Apple Music, you will need an aggregator to distribute your music.
AMAZON MUSIC UNLIMITED
Amazon Music Unlimited is a premium music subscription service which gives listeners unlimited access to millions of songs. To get your music featured and receive royalties, select Amazon Music Unlimited as a streaming service through your aggregator.
Deezer is an internet based streaming service. Your music can be accessed by users around the world and you will receive royalty payments through your aggregator when you music is streamed.
With a successful application to iTunes, your music can be accessed on the world’s largest online music store. The use of an aggregator is required.
Allowing you to be a part of one of the fastest growing catalogues of licensed music in the world, by having your music on Spotify you earn a royalty when your music is played. Participating labels and artists can also access reporting, though you will need an aggregator.
Tidal is a global music and entertainment platform that brings together artists and fans through unique music. It is available in 53 countries, including Australia. To have music published on Tidal, independent artists must have an aggregator. Distribution through any aggregator is accepted but Tidal recommend Indigoboom, Record Union, DistroKid or Tunecore.