Making money on the Internet with audio recordings
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November 11, How do I earn money from my sound recordings? Making money from your sound recording involves the exploitation of that copyright.
But what is your copyright? As we covered in our Copyright articlecopyright signifies the ownership of intellectual property by a person or group. In the case of a sound recording specifically, if you own that recording, you have control over what happens to it.
In fact, you can make quite a bit of money from your recording s. What is a sound recording? When you capture a composition in a medium that can be played back, that medium is the sound recording. In the music industry, this is also called the masterbecause it represents the final version of the song after it has been recorded, mixed and mastered.
The master is the version of the song that is used for distribution. Most often these days, a master is an audio file saved to a computer, but some artists still opt for masters on tape. Who owns my sound recordings? Once your master is finished, you own that sound recording.
The only exception to this is if you sell that recording to another entity or if another entity claims ownership of your recording through an agreement you signed. The most common example of this is record labels who stipulate their ownership of your masters in their contract in exchange for their funding the recording costs.
How do I copyright my sound recordings? CD Baby can help you register your sound recording copyright through our partner Cosynd.
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Cosynd offers an easy method of registering your recording so you are legally covered in the event someone infringes on your copyright. If you want to go the old fashioned way, you can also register your copyright directly with the U. Copyright Office with this form. Keep in mind the sound recording copyright is separate from the composition copyright for the songwriter sconfusingly called a PA performing artist copyright.
If you own the composition and the sound recording, you will need to register copyrights for each one. What are the revenue sources for my recordings?
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Streaming royalties The most popular way for listeners to hear your music now is streaming. Through platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music, listeners can hear your music as much as they want without actually downloading the songs or owning them. Streaming platforms generate revenue by paid memberships and advertising; they then pay that revenue according to their determined making money on the Internet with audio recordings rate. This varies from platform to platform, but generally the rate is a few tenths of a cent per stream.
This sounds low, but the streaming platforms are in constant negotiations with organizations representing concerned parties in the music business to adjust the rates. And there are plenty of independent musicians who have been able to earn a living through streaming. Download revenue Yes, people still download making money on the Internet with audio recordings But once I hear an album I like, I find it on a download site and buy it.
The artist gets more money for making something I enjoy than if I had continued streaming their music.
Downloads also provide a sense of ownership over an album that is becoming rarer each year in the ephemeral world of streams. I like downloads because many sites offer higher quality audio files when you purchase them than what the streaming platforms offer.
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Physical media sales Even more than downloads, much has been made of the demise of physical media. But many people still buy music on physical formats.
I see the warehouse here at CD Baby stocked with hundreds of thousands of CDs and LPs and a sizable staff pulling them for shipment every day. Physical media offers even more ownership than downloads because the buyer has something they can actually hold. How much money these sales generate is dependent on the price set by the artist or label.
As an independent artist with CD Baby, you get to set the price for your physical media if you decide to make copies and sell through us.
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This is one of the more confusing areas of the music industry. In the U.
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So, who collects these royalties? For PandoraSoundExchange collects royalties generated by non-interactive plays, like on their curated playlists. SoundExchange also has a reciprocal agreement with many of the neighboring rights agencies around the world to collect royalties from satellite and Internet radio internationally.
Did you know you get paid to use your voice online? Yes, it's true. Whether you like to sing or do voice-overs, there are quite a few opportunities to get paid to use your voice online.
Outside the U. The term refers to royalties that are owed to the performing artist when a song is played on terrestrial radio. The U. So if your music is being played on radio outside the U. The catch? Only recordings created outside the U.
So if you live outside the U. Money from YouTube is earned by advertising revenue, which in turn is generated by ad clicks. When it finds a match, it places an ad on the video, and each click how to make money online from a smartphone the ad generates revenue.
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CD Baby can distribute your music to Instagram and Facebook so users can select it to place in a story. When one of your recordings is used in this way, it earns revenue that we collect for you. The company who secures the placement pays an upfront fee to use that recording. CD Baby can make your music eligible to be placed in media with our sync licensing program.
When we place your music for synchronization, we negotiate the fee on your behalf. This is dependent on a few factors, including the amount of the song used and the budget of the project in which your song is being used.
If you approve of the use of your song, you can negotiate the fee the interested party pays for the use. CD Baby fields inquiries quite often from artists who have heard a song by one of our artists and are interested in using it in their own song. We then inform our artist and provide the contact information of the inquiring artist. Unlike a sync placement, CD Baby does not take a fee for the use of the sample because we do not take part in the negotiation. You own your recording copyright, so it is entirely your decision if you approve the use of your song.
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Remixes Like sampling, if another artist wants to remix your recording, they must secure permission from the copyright holder directly. Someone else is taking your existing recording and re-imagining it for a different version of the song, changing enough to technically make it a new recording.
Through all the confusion, one thing is clear: when someone remixes one of your songs, you are owed money. As with a sample, you negotiate the fee since you hold the sound recording copyright. Who collects the revenue earned for my sound recording? You do!
Mixing down bouncing A mixed track is sometimes the final product but is typically mastered to a set standard, which brings us to our next way to make money in audio.
CD Baby not only distributes your music, we also help you collect the sound recording revenue from: Streaming.