One of the hardest things you’ll do as an artist is figuring out how to get all of your money. It’s almost like it’s intentionally confusing. I had no idea when I started out in the industry that I’d essentially need a masters in “GO GET THE MONEY”
While I’m not going to give you a Royalties 101 class, you should know that there are a variety of ways that you can and should get paid as an artist. Sonicbids has a pretty good run down here & that’s a great place to start.
Aside from collecting money from your label (if you’re signed) or digital distributor (if you’re indie), here are organizations to get signed up with to make sure you’re making your best effort at collecting all of the money due to you:
Sign up with a PRO (performing rights organization). Are you a songwriter? Signing up with BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, or whatever PRO your country has IS A MUST. Once you’re signed up, register your songs to make sure you get paid properly for your writing credit. A full list of PROs by country & a little more explanation on what they do is here.
SoundExchange. Artist and/or copyright owner? Soundexchange should get you set up to collect digital royalties from platforms like Pandora and SiriusXM.
Music Reports. Collect on royalties for a lot of smaller streaming platforms (Xbox, etc)
Harry Fox. HFA is an agency to license, collect, and distribute royalties on behalf of musical copyright owners.
Youtube MCN (Multi-Channel Network). Youtube is a bear to get your money from. Utilizing the expertise of a dedicated MCN to find your money makes any fee they take worth it.
Note - you may also need someone to collect on the use of your music outside of your channel. Often, MCNs will only collect within your channel.
Publishing Administration. I’m adding this with a caveat. If you plan to partner up with someone on a publishing deal, do not sign up with a pub admin company before you do that. However, if you own 100% of your publishing and plan to go at it alone sans publisher than it’s really best to secure a pub admin deal. This simply means that they go find and collect any publishing money that is due to you that is otherwise almost unattainable. This can and does get very confusing very fast. Best to have a professional on board.
This is a great start and should mostly have you covered on all of the big stuff. Check this box off your to-do list now before you have a catalogue full of released music and it becomes overwhelming.
REASON TO IGNORE THIS ADVICE: You’re not too concerned with getting all of the money owed to you. This is a total side project for THE LOVE OF ART.