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How to become a millionaire songwriter…or at least pay your rent.

Updated: Aug 13, 2021

Believe it or not… in 2021, it’s never been easier for a songwriter to make money from their songs. It’s a seller's market, and by retaining control over your recordings, you can make significant revenue. Retaining control means owning both your master recordings AND your publishing rights. An independent artist and songwriter can actually be their own record label and publisher. YOU ARE A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER! But too many artists are losing out on money that’s left on the table, by being disorganized, or not paying attention to the business side of the “music business.” Let’s face it, if you’re not doing it right, losing out on any money can be frustrating, demoralizing, and dash your hopes of a real music career.

By: Adam Nics Director of CX MDIIO

Here are 5 ways to work smarter AND harder! 1. Create and start your MDIIO profile today (shameless plug).

Use MDIIO to upload your songs, tag your collaborators, pitch your music, build your network, monetize your music, embed your metadata, and so much more! We currently have partnerships with SOCAN and are in the process of securing other relationships globally. 2. Register With a PRO (Performance Rights Organization)

Signing up with a collection society is the first initial step you need to take. Becoming an affiliate is the beginning of the process, however, there is more to it than that. You’ll need to register each piece of music within your PRO in order to get paid. You can become a member and register your songs with SOCAN(you don’t have to be Canadian to do so) directly within your MDIIO profile.

which leads us to the next point… 3. Adding Song Metadata

Adding metadata to songs is how you will make money off of PRO’s. Ensure this information is 100% accurate or it could jeopardize payments. A misspelled name or incorrect song title can easily and frustratingly derail any payments that might be coming to you. Make sure you have the correct spelling of your song, ISRC codes, publisher information, etc entered. Metadata allows your songs to be properly stored and identified wherever your music is available online, streaming and etc. 4. Your network is your net worth.

Maintain relationships with your PRO rep. Your network is your net worth. They are there to help guide and direct you. Also, every PRO has events that you can access and attend to help build your professional relationships. If you are published, signed, or even have management, maintain an extremely open line of communication. Everyone is engaged to see you win and succeed. Follow up and check in weekly and foster communication. Socialize… and be a cool person. 5. Understand different revenue streams.

Revenue from music used to be pretty limited. See Mechanical royalties and performance royalties as a reference. In 2021, we also have streaming, licensing, blanket licenses, neighboring rights, and about another dozen or so revenue points. To start with, ensure that your information is correctly registered at your PRO, Sound Exchange, and your country’s mechanical rights collector (Harry Fox in the US, CMRRA in Canada), ACTRA, AFTRA, SAG… and wherever you have it registered.


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