3 Minutes of Music Knowledge: 5 Ways To Monetize Your Independent Music

Kevin Day
3 min readOct 7, 2019


You’re creative! You worked hard on an idea…you recorded a track, worked with a producer and had you music mixed and mastered. Perhaps you created a video as well. Now your time has come…and you are ready to release that music to the marketplace.

Not so fast! Below is a checklist of some important steps you need to take to insure that you collect the money owed to you.

Your distributor may provide some of the items below, it is unlikely that they will supply all of them. Following these steps will insure that your new fans can find you music in a crowded music marketplace and you receive the money that is owed to you.

1. Register with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)

Whenever your music is played publicly, the songwriter is due a public performance royalty. As we have discussed, a PRO is the agency that will collect and distribute these royalties to you as a songwriter and will also collect money for your publisher.

You can do this easily on-line. Pick ASCAP or BMI in the United States (SESAC is an option but you need to be invited to join). Joining is inexpensive and offers many benefits.

2. Register with Soundexchange

When your music is played on non-interactive services, such as Pandora or SiriusXM, you are due a royalty. As we discussed previously, Soundexchange collects these royalties and distributes them to the appropriate artists and sound recording copyright owners. You may be able to collect both revenue streams if you are an independent artist who is self-releasing.

Register for Soundexchange here.

3. Register your Title with Soundscan

Soundscan tracks music and video streams throughout the United States. Soundscan is used by Billboard to build their weekly charts.

All streaming services use the Soundscan info to determine playlist eligibility.

This is NOT done automatically by most distributors, as such make sure your titles is tracked through this important service.

Register your music here.

4. Submit your Release Information to Mediabase

Mediabase monitors radio airplay in the U.S. and Canada, and publishers charts based on the most-played songs on AM/FM and satellite radio. You will want to insure that any airplay you might receive is captured and recorded.

Submit to Mediabase here.

5. Claim your Profile on Streaming Sites

This is very important for many reasons. Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Amazon Music allow you to claim your artist profile.

By doing this, you can customize your artist profile images, elaborate on your profile and add track descriptions and other useful information.

When you have registered your profile, you will receive access to data involving your tracks, for example who has streamed you usic, what playlists you are included in, what city and even zip code your listeners live as well as other valuable data.

Spotify for Artists is here

Apple Music for Artists is here


Insure that your Music Distributor Services Instagram & Facebook

Music Distribution is changing rapidly. One major change that has occured recently is the revenue stream that was recently created by Facebook and Instagram (which are the same company).

This is a recent development and not all distributors service Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram is hugely important to music discovery and should be a part of your release strategy. Many fans will discover your music through stories and posts and will link to your streaming page.

Remember, It is time to get serious about the Business of Music.