How-To

7 Mistakes to Avoid When Registering Songs

Songtrust Staff
Songtrust Staff on Mar 28, 2012

Kraftwerk enjoyed registering their songs while adorned in ultraviolet suits. 


mistakes registering songs music publishing

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.

Related Articles

The Importance of Setlists

While many setlists have been (and undoubtedly will continue to be) hastily scribbled on napkins and scraps of paper, that doesn't mean they're not valuable – a handwritten Nirvana setlist, complete with a dirty footprint, sold for a cool $10,000, after all. A setlist doesn't have to be a collectible item or concert souvenir for it to have worth. In fact, songwriters earn performance royalties from when their songs are played in public, and submitting their setlist is key to getting those royalties.

Apr 10, 2018

Do I Need More Than a Performance Rights Organization?

Many of Songtrust’s most frequently asked questions focus on how we work with Performance Rights Organizations, or PROs. Many times songwriters will ask “I’m already registered with a PRO, do I still need Songtrust?” or “Do I need to register with a performance rights organization (PRO)?” The answer simply is yes, but it’s important to understand why you need one and why you still need publishing administration from a company like Songtrust.

Mar 13, 2018

Music Publishing Deals in 2018

Administration vs. Co-Publishing Deals

Which is Right for You?

You’ve heard the story before - about the budding songwriter who dreams of making it big by getting an offer for a publishing deal from a big, reputable company that then makes them famous. It’s what any artist aims for, but with the rising numbers of independent artists coming into their own, a traditional publishing deal isn’t the only option anymore. Now songwriters have to ask themselves a variety of questions including - How much ownership are you willing to give up for the benefits that a traditional publishing deal will give you today?

Feb 27, 2018