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.
Not only does the holiday season bring in the holiday cheer, they also bring more sales than any other time of the year. From merch sales to music streams and social engagement, it’s time optimize your marketing strategy for the holidays. Want in on some tips and tricks to amp up your holiday marketing game? No problem. Here are some holiday marketing tips for musicians…
Holiday Marketing Tips for Musicians
Send Out Holiday Cards To Your Fans
There’s nothing quite like getting a holiday card from someone. Knowing someone was thinking of you and put in the effort to show they care is a one of a kind feeling. If your weird cousin in Alaska can manage to send you a holiday card every year, you can send your own holiday cards to some well deserving fans.
Take note of the top 50 fans who engage with your social media the most, or go live and take the first people to join into consideration. It’s up to you how you’d like to choose who gets one. — (Note: Consider how much money you’re capable of spending on holiday cards and stamps. That, and how much free time you have, will help you decide how many people you can add to your list.)
Here are some great websites to help you create custom cards for the low:
Share Personal Holiday Memories
The holidays have most of us feeling sentimental. Pull on the heart strings on your fans by sharing your own personal holiday memories from your childhood on socials. Go on Instagram Live and share your funniest holiday memories or post some throwback pics from your childhood on Facebook. Just get personal.
By opening up and sharing some personal tidbits, you’ll steal the hearts of existing fans and gain some new ones in the process.
Holiday Themed Livestreams
Since the beginning of the pandemic, artists have been live-streaming like crazy. With the holidays coming in hot, switch up the vibe and try some holiday themed streaming instead! Get festive, decorate your space, and go live to play some holiday classics.
Want to switch it up? Engage your audience with a holiday themed tutorial.
- Go live and wrap presents with your fans
- Cook a holiday meal
- Go on a decorating spree in your house
Whatever you do, sneak in some of your music in the background and don’t forget to promote yourself every now and then.
Host A Giveaway
What better way to engage your audience on any platform than with a holiday giveaway! All you’ll need to do is create posts on socials encouraging your fans to enter and put together the prize.
Consider giving away things like:
- Limited edition holiday merch
- Early download access to your new EP
- Signed vinyl
- A holiday care package (merch, vinyl, CD’s, a holiday card, candy, etc., all in one)
The holidays are about giving back and showing you care. Let your marketing reflect that!
Offer Holiday Sales On Merch
Want sell more merch? Join the Black Friday craziness and do your own deals. Offer discounts on select merch items and promote the sales on socials.
To hype it up and extend your reach even further, try a collaboration with other artists where you all post pics of yourselves doing holiday themed activities in the merch. Another thing you can do is throw in a free gift on top of your discounts.
- For example, every $75 order could get a signed guitar pick or limited edition print included.
Promote with Style
Whatever you do, do it with style. It doesn’t hurt to get a little festive this holiday season, especially with your marketing. Take advantage of the cozy aesthetic and get your audience in the holiday spirit with holiday themed posts on socials, limited edition holiday merch, or even holiday themed ad campaigns.
The more the merrier! 🎁
“Fake” artists are impersonators who steal music from real, hard-working artists like you and upload the tracks on streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music under false names through unsuspecting distributors. These fake artists also create fraudulent playlists with hundreds of fake songs, making them thousands of dollars in royalties stolen from their rightful owners. It’s important as a community that we fight against these practices, and the first step is learning how to recognize them. In this post, we’ll show you what to look for…
How To Detect Fake Spotify Playlists
A Blank Profile
One of the most obvious ways to tell if a playlist is fake is to check out the playlist curators’ profile. Typically, a real profile will have fully filled out bio, profile picture, links to socials, etc. Take a look at the followers, too. A playlist with tons of likes accompanied by a curator with no followers is definitely sus. Alternatively, if the followers they do have also have no profile pics, weird names or no additional info, those are most likely bots and another good sign to stay away.
Offering Paid Placements
Paying to be featured in a playlist is not only against Spotify’s policy, but also illegal. Oftentimes a fraudulent playlist curator will have a bio that claims you can be featured too, for a price. Typically, these playlists are using illegal third-party services, bots and click-farms to amass all those streams. If your own music gets caught on one of these playlists, you risk being removed from the entire platform yourself. Worth the risk? I don’t think so.
Many Different Genres
The whole point of a playlist is to serve you a certain vibe, set a mood, and offer a perfectly curated list of songs. That being said, if you spot a playlist with no specific vibe to it and tons of different genres sprinkled throughout, that’s a red flag. Let’s be real… going from Heavy Metal to Hyper-Pop to Country on a single playlist doesn’t make sense, no matter how diverse your taste is.
Random Related Artists
Click on some of the artists in the playlist and go to their “Fans also like” section. If these recommendations consist of artists who are completely different genres or have sketchy profiles, run the other way. This one may take you some time to vet, but it’s always better to take the time to be safe than to be sorry later. To be safe, I recommend checking 5 or 6 “artists”.
If a playlist is popping off with thousands of followers, shouldn’t the playlist curator themselves also have a similar number of followers on their personal profile? Typically, that’s how this music streaming thing works, right? You gain organic fans of your music and they follow you. (Duh!) That being said, if a playlist has a big discrepancy between the amount of followers and streams on the playlist versus the curator’s profile, this is a big, telltale sign that bots are running rampant.
You may be thinking… “How do these fake playlists even happen?”
Through independent distributors with limited oversight, these “fake” artists swindle their way through the process and upload infringing content right under the distributors’ nose. While these practices are strongly prohibited, these impersonators simply lie, using fake information along with other various tactics hoping nobody notices until it’s too late. This seems too easy to be true, but it works. In fact, it has been working so well that these impersonators have been making insane amounts of money off of music they have zero right to.
That’s why it’s so important to be wary of fake playlists and stolen music. It’s up to us as a community to report activity like this when we see it, do our best to protect each other from falling victim to these scams, and learn how to navigate situations like these when they do arise.
“What do I do if my music has been stolen?”
In the unfortunate case that your music has been stolen by one of these scammers, don’t freak out. There are a couple things you can do. From making sure your copyrights are in order to issuing takedown notices and taking legal action. Before any of these, however, the first thing you should do is report it to Spotify.
To do this, follow these steps:
- On the desktop app, right-click the playlist title or artist name.
- Select Report. A form will open in your browser.
- Complete the form and Submit.
The next thing you can do is make a legal claim on the content. Each report is investigated on a case-by-case basis, and any content that is deemed inappropriate will be removed. To make a legal claim, click here.
Back in July, Symphonic Distribution acquired the music industry marketing collective Streaming Promotions. Since then, we’d like to break down exactly what we do and how you can benefit from our services right here. Here’s everything you need to know.
Everything You Need To Know About Streaming Promotions
What is it?
Streaming Promotions is a Marketing Agency that works to push your music organically through relationships. They have connections with over 1500+ playlist curators on Spotify and over 3000 playlists on the platform. They don’t pay for placements or use artificial streams, it’s all based on true human connection.
They start by understanding the client’s sound and focus tracks in a general process – tagging all genres, subgenres, moods, feelings, themes, sensory words, actions, SEO friendly words, similar artists that they believe describes you best. From there, they cross reference all the playlists they have in their network to decide the best strategy for you.
How does it work?
The best way to gain traction on streaming services is to grow monthly listeners. These fans help to grow adoption into algorithmic playlists. These algorithms assist in finding new listeners based on your existing fanbase. The larger the fanbase, the larger the audience the algorithm can find.
Streaming Promotions does this through a couple methods, first of which is through their Campaigns.
- With campaigns, they analyze their vast relationships and create a total marketplace for your project. They reach out individually to each curator and provide information specific to each artist. Then, they email you weekly reports and will schedule a call with their team at the mid-point of our campaign to discuss the progress.
Their next specialty is Song Pitching.
- With this, their promotion team will pitch your tracks (up to 5) and work to get your music featured on Spotify playlists.
Ready to get started?
Despite Symphonic’s acquisition of the service, Streaming Promotions is still a free-standing entity, offering their services to artists and labels world-wide. What’s new is the application of Symphonic’s technology and infrastructure to help double down and continue growing our business, clientele, and services as a team.
That means you get both the power of Streaming Promotions AND Symphonic combined. 🔥