There is much to keep track of before, during, and after a song release. I’m still discovering what links to share and how. As you may know, not all streaming platforms have an easy integration with all of your possible social media accounts. Sometimes you need to retool something to make it work. That being said you may be sharing your artist pages as well. Make sure you claim the pages that you have some control over and update your bio and photos as needed. Apple, Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, and Amazon all allow some personalization. Your digital distributor will have to submit your bio to Tidal and Napster. I didn’t find that out until after my second song release. It may take up to 6-8 to have everything there. Don’t be like me…take advantage of what your distributor offers and check their website for all their resources and tools. Submit what is asked of you for AllMusic as iHeart Radio gets their information from them. Even though I received an acknowledgement that they received my info. on my last release, it is nearly eight weeks and it is still not posted. So, get the information to them a couple of months before your release, if possible. I’m going to be doing that with my next song. My digital distributor, DistroKid, also sends my lyrics to to multiple platforms and search engines. Make sure you add yours where you can. I also suggest adding your lyrics to your music videos even if it is on a separate video. Maybe add them to the video description…I’m off to do mine! Stay well.

Now that it has been over a month since my second release “Hardly Hiding”, I can share with you the differences. In regards to YouTube…in order to become eligible for an Official Artist Channel, the channel needs to be about you, (the artist) or your band. It can’t be about a variety of topics. You need at least 3 videos and a Topic Channel. Your Topic Channel is created by your digital distributor. I didn’t even realize this happened with the first release! I did the process of asking for the Official Artist Channel through DistroKid and I had my response in less than a day. So, now my Topic Channel shows up on my Official Channel. Here is the LINK if you want to check out how it looks different from a regular channel.

In regards to Pandora, my second release went straight to having Premium Access and I didn’t need to submit it to be curated like my first song. AllMusic only took two weeks (1st song, it was about a month) to let me know that they received my information about my 2nd release, but as of yet, it is not listed on the site nor are any of my photos or album art there. iHeart Radio gets their information from AllMusic so, no matter the outcome, I will keep on submitting my data to them. Deezer has Backstage, which is an artist page that gives you analytics, which I applied for and I had to submit my information about my digital distributor and record label. You need to submit at least one UPC code as well. Amazon has Amazon Music for Artists. That page was approved in 15 minutes! I haven’t promoted that platform very much…I have a Prime account and my music is only available on their Music Unlimited tier.

Anyway, my next song is due to be released the end of August or beginning of September. I want to allow a couple of months leeway so I can better promote it. So far, I have just been using my social media platforms and email list. That’s probably going to be another blog! Stay well!

There has been a flurry of information recently about the MLC or the Mechanical Licensing Collective. The MLC is a nonprofit organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office that was birthed out of the Music Modernization Act of 2018. Well, in 2021 it came to life and now is the only entity in the US that is administrating blanket mechanical licenses to digital service providers or DSPs and collecting those royalties. Harry Fox and Music Reports are no longer doing this and collecting mechanical royalties. So, if you are not using a publishing admin company you need to register yourself and your songs if you want to collect royalties from streaming services or from digital downloads of your music. Click HERE to go to the MLC. My publishing admin company is Songtrust so, I don’t need to become of member of the MLC because Songtrust registers all the metadata with the MLC. Just below is a link that explains the MLC and Songtrust’s part in this process. Any publishing admin company will do this for you…I hope. Click HERE for that explanation.

So, to recap, in order to collect mechanical royalties…register with the MLC, if you use a publishing admin company, they will register you and your songs. Your publishing admin company is collecting mechanical and performance royalties on your behalf and charging you a commission to do so. In my case, Songtrust is collecting royalties in over 130 countries and takes 15% of what they collect. I couldn’t possibly keep track of what happens globally with my music. So, it is worth it to me. Your digital distributor, in my case, DistroKid, is collecting master recording royalties. If you own the rights to your master, or the record company, those royalties would come to you as well. Keep creating and have fun! Sue

P.S. My logo is in the 30 day process of someone being able object to my logo encroaching on their logo. So, it is scheduled to be published in the Trademark Official Gazette in early June and if there are no claims against it, it will be registered! Pretty cool!

Wow, almost a month as flown by since my last post! So, what has happened since then? “Hardly Hiding” was in fact released on April 26th. As you may have read before, I use DistroKid as my digital distributor. If you haven’t heard it or watched the video, you can click HERE to check it out. I was interviewed and this song was featured on WHUD 100.7 fm on their program Hudson Valley Artist Spotlight hosted by Andy Bale. If you would like to hear the interview, which is a little over 5 minutes, please click HERE.

The trademark of my logo was examined, and the words MUSIC GROUP…well, I needed to do a disclaimer for those words as they are merely descriptive of the business type or structure and generally have no “source indicating capacity” as the USPTO had explained to me in a letter. Now, that doesn’t mean my logo as a whole can not be protected, it just means that my LLC can not have the exclusive rights to those words apart from my logo. That’s cool with me. So, it took 5 1/2 months to get this point and now they are saying the final determination may take an additional 2 months. If you have common words in your logo, you may need to give those common words the same treatment.

My online store is completed and if you are curious about how a free Square store can look like and behave, please click HERE. What is not there are events. After I record a few more songs, I will be doing some streaming and I will set up that section with products. I’m thinking of having folks pay what they choose for that stuff. Once I am able to perform live, I can do general admission seating with this store. If I use reserved seating and folks want to select their seats, I will need to use a Ticketer service. Since YouTube has integration services with 4 different Ticketers, I thought I would do some research with the ones they like us to use. The four companies that YouTube works with are AXS, SeeTickets, Ticketmaster, and Eventbrite. Ticketmaster had a whole bunch of fees and you can’t get a general quote for your event without contacting them. At least I couldn’t find a way on their website. SeeTickets is in Great Britian, not a good choice for the USA. AXS…I remember visiting their site and it appeared complicated to get information, so I gave up. Eventbrite was very upfront with the service fees and payment processing fees. You can have your attendees pay the fees, or the event creator can pay them. After doing the math a $20.00 ticket price at the premium service level would incur $2.29 in service fees and $.50 in payment processing fees for a total of $2.79. That sounds reasonable to me. So, I believe I will be using Eventbrite down the road. Now, you can only do this concert promotion feature and sell your tickets on an Official Artist Channel.

Which brings me to my last paragraph. I now have an Official Artist Channel on YouTube! You can click HERE to view it. To get the complete lowdown on what you can do with it please click HERE it’s from the Google support page. I haven’t read it all…so, I don’t know all the features. Maybe you can tell me! Anyway, stay well and keep on keeping on…there’s still much work to be done…Sue

I just saw that three weeks have gone by since I last added to my blog. In that window of time, I mastered the song, shot the video, edited the video and submitted everything needed to ASCAP, DistroKid, SongTrust, SoundExchange, Sound Scan ISRC registration and Sound Scan Title registration. I still have All Music, Mediabase, and BDS Virtual Encode left on the submit list. I also “pitched” this song on Spotify to be curated for a playlist. Thankfully Spotify sent me an email to let me know if you submit your song or if it is submitted by your digital distributor at least one week before it’s release date, you can personally pitch your song. It isn’t hard to do at all. It may have taken me 15 mins. It’s cool that you can do this now. I did not get this email with my first release. The music video is already on YouTube, you can check it out HERE. I used some “green screen” techniques and learned how to reverse clips, speed clips up, and I used a comic look throughout most of it. It’s on the playful side. I need to create a “Canvas” for this song on Spotify and set up a playlist and featured artist on my page. I need to learn more about Spotify and Pandora AMP and work on using the features that make sense. Most streaming services give you some tools to advertise your song on your social media platforms. That can be a full time job unto itself!

“Hardly Hiding” is set for release on all the major platforms on April 26th. The link for my DistroKid Hyperfollow page is HERE. I really like this feature by DistroKid. This link can go everywhere, it’s good looking and it’s a forever kind of thing.

I also have my own on line store. I use Square to handle my transactions and they give you a free “store front”. You can have more features if you want to pay for the service. I’m not sure how much traffic I will get, so for now, I’m keeping the free version. It is set up to handle events and to download the mp3 of this song and ” Sleeping Alone Again” and, of course, future songs. I will make that live and promote it all over approximately 7-10 days before this song release. That’s it for now. Good luck with all you are doing and being! Sue

Hey there, I am in the middle of getting my next song “Hardly Hiding” released. I am looking at mid to late April. So, I have been thinking about writing this and trying to but, I’m knee deep in shooting footage for the music video and will start mastering the track tomorrow. I did want to update you on a few lingering items with my first release. First, I was sending a request to Virtual Encode “Sleeping Alone Again” to an outdated email address, therefore no response. The Virtual Encode is for the Nielson BDS or Broadcast Data Systems. The service tracks radio, internet, and televisions plays of your track and is what feeds Billboard it’s data. I “stumbled” on the VirtualEncode log in page and used the email link below the log in area. Within one day a very nice representative sent me all the info. and instructions I needed to have my song encoded. Here is the link to that page VirtualEncode. Obviously, I have submitted it.

Secondly, As you may know, your digital distribution company may submit your songs to Pandora, but Pandora is a curated platform and may or may not utilize your song. Even though DistroKid had submitted it, I hadn’t received any update so I decided to submit my song manually using my UPC code and then received an acknowledgement that it was going be reviewed by their staff. It was and I received an email that my song was available on their Free Pandora Radio Service. Then I went searching for claiming my AMP page. I submitted an email to their customer service email and received a response that AMP or Artist Marketing Platform was only available to artists with songs on their Premium Access platform but, that being said, they would be reviewing my song and expected it to be up and running in a few weeks. Well, it took a little longer than 3 weeks but, I went to claim my AMP page and sure enough I was able to be verified in one day! Very cool! I have not dived into all that can be done on that page to help promote “Sleeping Alone Again” on Pandora…but, I will. If you would like to check out “Sleeping Alone Again” on AMP:Fresh Cuts click HERE. Thanks for listening and reading! Stay well, Sue

Hi there, Even if you are not planning on recording all of your songs, if you are performing them in a venue or streaming them on Facebook, YouTube, or another platform you are due royalties. If you have your own publishing company then that entity is also due royalties. If you use a publishing admin company like Songtrust, which is the one I use, you can register your set list of your songs with them and they will handle the collection of royalties through your PRO. In my case, ASCAP would collect performance royalties from my performances, whether in a live venue or live streaming on the platform I choose. I just need to submit the data via their website. Most PROS have an online submission system in place for you to enter the song information and the venue information of your performance. If I perform in a venue that has a “blanket license” with ASCAP, and I may need to ask, then I should only perform songs in the ASCAP catalog (currently around 11.5 million) because the blanket license that the venue purchased gives performers a license to perform ASCAP songs. If the venue also has a blanket license with BMI, then I would be able to perform BMI songs as well. If you are streaming other writer’s songs, make sure you stream on a platform that also has blanket licenses with the major PROs. With YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, you are covered. But, you will need to get a synchronization license for all the songs that are not yours. It is best to contact the publisher and record label directly to get that license. So, for me, I will not be streaming other folks songs for now.

On another note, I recorded the tracks of my next planned release “Hardly Hiding” so, I’m back spending my evenings in my studio! Stay well!

As you may know, I edited my own music video, “Sleeping Alone Again” using Final Cut Pro X. Yes, I am a Mac person when it comes to creating “stuff” for this music career. So, I used two cameras and not knowing that there is capability within FCPX to do multi-cam edits just like you would for a live TV show, I visually scanned frames, cut them or trimmed them, and inserted them onto the timeline as I saw fit. I then added the effects I wanted in between the cuts. Well, I recently watched a very good tutorial on YouTube about using multiple camera angles and set ups. I will use the multi-cam editing feature in FCPX on my next music video. We will see which looks smoother and which one took less time to edit. Here is the link for the Thurston Community Media tutorial on Multi-cam Editing. I hope you find it helpful and it saves you time and energy!

Hey there! Just to go backwards for a moment, I sent another email to AARC in hopes of getting an answer about the status of the applications I submitted back in early November as a sound recording copyright owner and featured artist. That was 5 days ago…no response. If anyone has had a similar experience or can shed some light on the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies, I would appreciate your insights.

Another update I would like to share with you is my application for trademarking my logo for my publishing company and record label. Being that I did this without an attorney, I watched almost every tutorial video the USPTO offered. More than one video stated that you will receive many emails from third party entities pretending to be part of the process…which I have. I was so leery of these emails that when one actually came from the USPTO, I read it and trashed it! It did look real…but I still didn’t trust it. I found out it really was from them when I checked on the status of my application and looked at the “Prosecution History.” Go figure. You can check on your application, if you have gone down this road, at this link TSDR and put in your serial number. Simple!

My song “Sleeping Alone Again” is on Pandora and , of course, other platforms. You can check that out HERE. Pandora has an AMP program for artists similar to Apple Music for Artists and Spotify for Artists. I can not claim myself in Pandora. I can find the song, but I can’t set myself up. Too many Sues…too many Larsens…I’ll find out. I emailed customer service today and sent them my links so they could verify me. We’ll see…

Lastly, a couple of months ago I requested the info needed to register my song with Nielsen BDS. No response…I was able to register my song with MediaBase with no delay. Both of these entities aggregate airplay of your song. They are encoded so that they will know if your song is played over internet radio or broadcast radio. I don’t know where my song will end up, but I wanted to cover my bases. Here is the link for the requesting access to the Virtual Encode at Nielsen BDS. If anyone has an update of this or knows a different way…please share it! I sent another request today and I’ll see if I get a response this time. Thanks for reading…stay well.

First, Happy New Year! I use DistroKid as my digital distributor and they do state how long it takes for your song or album to generally get released on each platform. My song was released on 12/18/2020 and just yesterday I was able to post on my social media platforms that my song “Sleeping Alone Again” is on Napster. Just today I received an email from Pandora that my release was accepted for Pandora Premium! Now, that is very cool but, until I made a special submission to amp.pandora.com/submit my song wasn’t even on their Pandora (free) or Pandora Plus platforms. I’m not using any logic to figure this out. DistroKid does provide the link to submit your music and explains all their music is curated in house so, there is no guarantee your music will get on any of their platform tiers. Anyway, they got back to me with the good news in under 24 hours. Today I also received an email from AllMusic. My submission to them has been added to the queue for processing. It may take 6 to 8 weeks to have my submissions processed and added to their database but, at least I got an update and they did send me a link to check on it’s status. They also do not guarantee anything will be added to their database or what information will be included. Sounds like a definite maybe!

In the meantime, I am plotting the course for my next release, “Hardly Hiding.” I created an Audio Visualizer in Apple’s Motion software, with the help of this video on YouTube “How to Make An Audio Visualizer in Motion 5” from The Final Cut Bro, as I would like to use it in my next music video. Keep yearning and learning!