As soon as you’ve finished writing a song – and determined splits with any co-writers – your next port of call should be registering the song with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO). In the United States, songwriters can affiliate and register their songs with one of ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.
There’s a few common mistakes that artists tend to make when registering songs. Ryan Brodhead (Manager of Performance Rights Administration for Songtrust) sees these all too often. Take heed of his lessons!
1. Be sure to list any and all performers of the song.
2. Be sure to list any and all writers and/or publishers with their correct shares.
3. Be sure to list any alternate titles.
4. Be sure your writer/publisher account has current contact information.
5. Make sure samples are licensed/cleared properly.
6. Avoid naming your songs anything that’s hard to remember and not clear. E.g. Up 2 No Good Luv should be Up to No Good Love.
7. If you perform your songs live, report these using the various programs from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.
If you’d prefer to leave this process to the experts, a publishing adminstrator can help.
For independent artists, Songtrust offers a seamless dashboard to register your songs with any US PRO. Moreover, we register your songs with the Harry Fox Agency (to collect mechanical and digital royalties), Music Reports (to collect digital royalties) and international societies – making sure you never miss out on any publishing royalties.