Are You Leaving Money on the Table?


During Indie Week this year, I attended sessions that focused on helping artists get more income, and here’s some ideas for y’all. 

Music Licensing. Licensing/synching your tunes can be a lucrative revenue stream. Get yer songs on film, TV and ads.  In fact, if you can pull off a “sounds like” song that is similar to big artists, music supervisors prefer that cuz it’s cheaper for them. If you are the songwriter, artist, and label that’s even better because it’s a one stop shop for clearing rights and is more streamlined. If you are in a group, make sure you decide on the split from the get-go! Look outside Canada and the US. Educate yourself on the process, record songs in different formats, and understand how your will get paid. 

Speaking of getting paid, your songs need to have CODES

  • ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is your Performance Identifier. It’s the universal identification number for each sound recording (12 alphanumeric digits). 
  • UPC (Universal Product Code) is the Release Identifier for your song.  
  • ISWC (International Standard Musical Work Code) is an 11-digit code used to identify each individual musical work. These codes are used in data systems across the industry. 
  • NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens) From what I know, this is where your fans are emotionally and financially invested in your success. You can sell off a portion of your future master royalties too. Just ask Our Lady Peace. 

Register With Collectives. The big ones are SOCAN, Resound and ACTRA RACS. Click below for ACTRA RACS awesome cheat sheet on which collectives you should register with.

Since SoundExchange is the USA, you can work with Canadian organizations to collect those royalties as part of their international partnerships, or you can register directly with SoundExchange to collect any US-based performer and owner royalties that might be available to you.