How to Earn Sound Recording Royalties using Sound Exchange?

Wait until you have either the copyright registration number of your sound recording works or much better a copy of the copyright certificate from the US Copyright office.

Step2.) Register with SoundExchange. You can go to this URL to register.

You can either choose to register online or using the traditional paper form application. It is important to complete the application and confirm with SoundExchange that your registration is successful. Put correct and updated information in the application form, make sure all entries are correct, for example the payee name, bank information, etc. This is needed by Soundexchange to properly paid royalties.

Step3.) Register your repertoire or catalog with SoundExchange.

Features of SoundExchange Membership

To know more about Soundexchange in details; lets break down the topics into several components:

a. Unpaid royalties
b. The Play System

First: Unpaid Royalties

If you are already an established indie artist for years and has some successful songs being streamed online in radio stations, TV services and streaming websites; then you might have some money waiting for you at SoundExchange.If you remember that you have some of your songs streamed before year 2000 (long time ago), you can check it here.

You can use that tool if you are an artist or copyright holder. You can search using your last name or first name. If you see your name, then there is money waiting for you in SoundExchange, become a member (follow the steps in the previous section) and go ahead to claim it.

Second: The Play System

However they have a note: “SRCOs (Sound copyright owners) and artists who have released product since 2001 will not appear on this list.” It means that you need to further dig in the soundexchange database if you are a registered artists as well having your songs registered it too.
In this step, you can use the “PLAYS” system:

You need to sign up before you can search the database, do not worry it will not take too long. If you are still new or you have not made heavy promotions in the past (like putting your song in radio or web casts), then you will not see your name or your song in the database.

When can I be paid with royalties and to increase earnings?

Soundexchange will pay you royalties if you reach the $10 threshold. As a member, they will monitor the performance of your sound recording work worldwide. You can then login online to track how your catalog performs.

As discussed previously, you should maximize the exposure of your music in those channels monitored closely by Soundexchange. So this means you will need to do a lot of marketing and research work in how to get your sound recording work in Internet radio, webcast, satellite radio and cable television music channels.

Things to ensure that you will get paid with royalties

There are actually 3 most important requirements that you should take note:

1.) You should register your sound recording work in a government copyright office. This ensures your ownership and legality of your claim.
2.) You should be a member in SoundExchange and register your works.
3.) Your sound recording work should have ISRC code embedded in it. ISRC code is a numeric code embedded in your MP3 file which radio stations will be using to identify your sound recording work. They will then use it to report internet radio performance based on ISRC code of the songs in their playlist. If your sound recording work does not have ISRC code, the radio stations or recording labels may reject or deny your work to be included in their playlist. Or if you have managed to have your music in a radio station playlist, your track will not be reported to Soundexchange for royalties.

Read this guide on how to embed and read ISRC Codes in your MP3 files.

Content last updated on July 13, 2012