In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the importance of protecting your creative works, particularly your music, has never been more prevalent. With the rise of online sharing and distribution, creators face new challenges in safeguarding their intellectual property. Luckily, our friends over at Cosynd have some tips to help you combat infringement effectively, including utilizing the new Copyright Claims Board. Here’s what you can do…
What To Do If Your Music Gets Stolen or Misused
Register Your Copyright
The first and most fundamental step in protecting your music is registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. This legal action establishes your ownership and strengthens your position in the event of infringement. In fact, you cannot legally enforce your rights as the owner without a registration in hand.
Monitor Your Content
Regularly track the use of your music online. Utilize digital tools and services to identify any unauthorized sharing or use. This proactive approach will help you identify potential violations promptly.
Issue Takedown Notices
If you come across instances of unauthorized use, issue Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices to the hosting platforms. This action prompts them to remove the infringing content.
Take Legal Action
If you find your work is intentionally reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without your permission, you can pursue legal action.
Note: New regulations mandate that you must have an official registration with the U.S. Copyright Office before you can file a lawsuit. Other types of registrations or mailing your music to yourself are not alternative precautions. Early registration can grant you a large payout — up to $150,000 per infringement PLUS your legal fees, but only if you register before your music is stolen or misused.
Get Justice Without Breaking the Bank
We understand that Federal Court isn’t always an affordable option. Excitingly, the new Copyright Claims Board (CCB) offers an accessible path to address infringements without excessive costs or the requirement to hire an attorney. The CCB operates independently of the courts and provides a streamlined process for resolving disputes of up to $15,000 per work and $30,000 per case.
This alternative to federal courts is designed to empower creators and copyright holders, offering a more accessible and less complex way to navigate disputes. Through its electronic filing and case management system, the eCCB platform, the CCB is equipped to handle three key types of copyright disputes, spanning copyright infringement, declaration of noninfringement claims, and disputes regarding misrepresentations in DMCA notices.
Engage Legal Assistance
In more complex cases, consulting legal professionals with expertise in intellectual property can be invaluable. They can guide you through legal proceedings and ensure that your rights are adequately protected.
By taking these steps, you not only safeguard your music but also uphold the value of your creative efforts.
After all the blood, sweat and tears it took to finally get your new music out into the world, it’s finally time to get as many people to listen to it as possible! From the technical stuff like registering with PROs to the fun stuff like social media promo, here are some of the most important things every musician should be doing after their release goes live. Let’s dive in…
What To Do After Making Your Music Available Online
Register with a PRO
To make sure you receive the royalties you’re rightfully owed, your songs need to be properly registered with either ASCAP, SESAC or BMI. Sadly, we can’t do this for you. Only you as the writer can affiliate with a PRO.
If your music is being distributed, performed worldwide, and you don’t have a publishing deal, your royalties are sitting in collection societies around the world waiting to be claimed by you. If you don’t register in time to collect your royalties, the collection societies will retain the royalties and you will miss out on that additional revenue. That’s why we created our publishing administration service to help you get through this process as easily as possible.
Register with SoundExchange
SoundExchange has paid out more than $7 BILLION in royalties to date. They are the sole organization designated by the U.S. Congress to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for sound recordings. They’re the ones who collect these digital performance rights from non-interactive music streaming on internet sources like SiriusXM and Pandora.
Sign Up for Lyric Distribution
Some distributors have partnerships for lyrics distribution and submission for example: Apple Music, Musixmatch, and LyricFind. With these partnerships, you’re able to streamline and expedite the submission process for faster turnarounds and less hassle.
Update your ‘Artist Pick’ on Spotify
Artist Pick is a great way to highlight what’s important to you right now, whether it be your latest release, playlist, show announcement, or even a Fan Support link. Check out the video below to learn how to do it…
Promote It On Socials
Social media offers an easy and effective method for promoting your latest track. To do so, start by creating a strategy tailored to your goals and target audience. Next, you can engage with your followers by posting your song in Reels, Stories, TikTok’s, and wherever else your fans frequent. You can also collaborate with fellow artists to expand your reach even further. Remember to utilize relevant hashtags, create visually appealing content, and consider running targeted ads for wider exposure. Lastly, always encourage user-generated content from your fans! Ask them to tag you in their own posts featuring your song, and get permission to re-post it on your own profile.
Pitch for Sync
When we talk about sync licensing in the music business, we’re referring to the act of synchronizing a piece of music with any form of visual media. That means getting your music featured in movies, TV episodes, commercials, video games, etc.
Get Some Press
After releasing new music, it’s always a good idea to send your music to music journalists, bloggers, and magazines for potential reviews and features. You can even share it in Facebook Groups, Reddit threads, or anywhere else where people can see your new song and share it with their communities.
You worked hard on your new track. Don’t let it get lost in the shuffle of thousands of songs trying to break through this crazy industry. Practicing things like consistently hyping yourself up on socials, optimizing your Spotify, SoundCloud, Apple Music, etc. profiles, and everything else we covered above, can make or break the performance of your work.
In the meantime, be proud of all your hard work! Keep going, be consistent, and believe in your talents as an artist.
TikTok’s Music Tab is a great way to highlight your most popular tracks right on your profile for everyone to see. If you haven’t set yours up yet, here’s how to do it…
How To Set Up Your Music Tab on TikTok
About TikTok’s Music Tab
What was previously only available for artists with over 10k followers is now open for everyone! Adding a Music Tab to your TikTok profile allows you to display your most popular tracks or pin latest releases, giving you the ability to drive engagement to your music catalog and convert followers into fans, all from your TikTok profile.
How does it work?
Once you enable the feature, it will automatically populate your delivered music under the music tab, as well as unlock other music integrations like By Artist, Behind the Song, New Release Feature and a TikTok to DSP’s Add to Playlist feature. You’ll also see the “Artist” tag displayed on your TikTok profile.
To enable this feature, artists must do so via a mobile device by following this link.
Your fans show their love and support by interacting on socials, sharing your music with their friends, going to shows, buying merch and so much more. Don’t you think all this effort deserves a little something extra? With exclusive content for only your most dedicated fans, you can not only thank them for their past support, but also give everyone else a good reason to get more involved. Here are 6 ideas for exclusive content any artist can try right now…
6 Types of Exclusive Content For Fan Engagement
One of the OG methods for exclusive content in the music industry is to offer early access to upcoming tracks, music videos, merch, and even ticket sales. That being said, one of the easiest ways to do this is through email. Get your fans to sign up for your email list in exchange for this exclusive content. For music videos, you can send a private YouTube link (which also then leads them to your YouTube profile with all your other juicy content while they’re at it). For merch, you can link items right in the email. For new music, private links work too. You can even create a private Instagram or Facebook group chat to share everything in.
However you decide to share it, getting early access to your favorite artist’s latest creation is one of the best feelings there is as a fan.
Private Fan Community Access
Platforms like Patreon and Discord give you the opportunity to create a close-knit community where everyone can chat, share and connect on a deeper level in a private, online space. Not only can they chat it up with you, but they can also connect with each other and create meaningful connections as a community, all through the power and love of music.
If you want to offer different levels of personal content, consider offering different membership tiers with varying levels of access and benefits. For example, you could have a basic tier with offers access to the community and a higher tier that includes additional perks like behind-the-scenes content and merch discounts.
Another great option you can offer is a discount on new merch or tickets to your next show. An easy way to do this is to run a social media contest and create a discount code you can share exclusively to the winners through DM’s on Instagram, email, Discord, or wherever you like to send personal messages.
Lyric Sheets and Personal Song Notes
This is one of my favorites, which I have personally received from one of my childhood favorite artists’ at the time. The band sent me a handwritten note from the lead singer with song lyrics from an unreleased song and personal thoughts about the lyrics. (He even threw in an expected, used guitar pick into the envelope. This was over 10 years ago, and I still have that letter in a scrapbook somewhere. That just shows how meaningful something so simple to you can be to your fans.
From personalized shoutouts and quick birthday messages to even a simple heartfelt DM, something personal goes a long way with your fans. There are a lot of avenues you can go down with this one, too. Consider things like custom songs, personal thank you videos, personalized art/merch, exclusive demos with commentary, and so much more. You can even ask your fans directly on socials what they want from you for more ideas.
When it comes to exclusive events you can do, live Q&A sessions are a great option but not the only one! You can also organize exclusive listening parties where you play your new album or unreleased tracks for your subscribers, and discuss the songs or share insights during the event. You can host online songwriting workshops or masterclasses for your subscribers where you teach them about your songwriting process and help them develop their own skills.
If you want to get more interactive with it, take requests to do covers of your fans favorite songs or have fans ask you questions about your latest album, inspirations, or even your career as a whole. TikTok Live is a great place to do this, because viewers can pay to send you Gifts which translate into real rewards for you (similarly to donating bits on Twitch).
To wrap things up…
Offering exclusive content may help you grow your community and connect with your fans, but it does so much more for you as an artist. With it, you can earn additional income, give yourself more creative freedom, run free promo, test upcoming projects, and foster long-term support that will stick with you throughout your career. At the end of the day, this industry thrives on community. Take care of yours, and it will take care of you.
So your fans are streaming your music and jamming away… Great! But what if you want more? Super fans will support you through thick and thin. Fostering deeper connections with your audience is a smart way to create a stronger fan base you can lean on throughout your career. Whether it be with a paid newsletter, exclusive merch, or a VIP subscription service, here’s how to convert casual fans into paying subscribers.
How to Convert Fans Into Paying Subscribers
Offer Something Worth Paying for
You have to think about what other artists in your genre are offering. For example, lots of artists offer early access to a new song, but if the song is going live to the public a couple weeks later, it’s not necessarily worth paying for in advance. Offer something uniquely exclusive, because everyone likes to feel special.
For example, you could start by simply mentioning your new subscription in an Instagram story. Mention an exclusive community that gets special treatment, for example: “… And we did a private concert for five of our fans, it was amazing… We even played them one of our unreleased songs.” Or offer other things like:
- Online concerts
- VIP virtual hangs
- Features on social media (Instagram Live, Twitter shoutouts, etc.)
- Access to unreleased music
- Behind the scenes content
- Autographed merch
Exclusive shit sells. Get creative with it! Think about things you’d want from your favorite artist and go from there.
Run Targeted Ads
Great advertising is a magical thing. Running targeted ads towards your current fanbase is a great way to reel in those who are already the most interested in your work.
Loyalty goes a long way. Give back.
Being a part of a community is a feeling like no other. Feeling connected and heard by your favorite artist is worth a subscription any day. When you get a new subscriber, do something special for them to show you care. Give back by promoting your subscribers on socials. Anything to create a personalized and thoughtful experience will do.
- You could try something on social media like, #followbackfridays, where you follow back everyone who subscribes to your service that day. (That doesn’t mean tagging everyone in one post, by the way. There’s nothing personal about that.)
- Record personalized thank you videos for subscribers via Twitter or Instagram.
- Invite a couple fans to join an Instagram Live with you.
It’s important to show your subscribers how thankful you are for their patronage and actually put in the work. Because without them, where would you be?
Have a Social Media Strategy
Promoting your new service on socials is the best way to stay on top of everyone’s minds. Just don’t overdo it. Don’t harass your followers with a million posts a day begging for their interest. Keep it casual but consistent. Be engaging.
Having a great CTA works wonders, but you don’t want to overwhelm your audience. When in doubt, a simple “here’s what I’m doing, here’s why it’s awesome, and here’s why you’ll dig it” should do the trick..
Just be consistent, offer something they can’t wait to get their hands on, and always be yourself. Your fans will see your spark and naturally want a part of it. You got this.