How to Earn Sound Recording Royalties using Sound Exchange.

The good thing about being the creator and owner of a sound recording work is your right to earn sound recording royalties through Sound Exchange ( If you are a home studio producer, then this is a good opportunity for you to earn some money out of your audio recording/music production works.

Soundexchange is a non-profit performance right societies that represents in behalf of the sound recording copyright owners to collect royalties of the recording performance.

Where does SoundExchange monitor the performance of a certain sound recording?

Knowing where they monitor performance is an important information because it guides you where would you market your recording to maximize sound recording royalty earnings. The following are the common places:

1.) Web/Satellite/Internet Radio – Do a search in the Google for “internet radio” and there are a lot of popular Internet radio stations that are accepting songs from home based artist/producer. One of the most popular internet radio for independent musicians as of year 2011 is Jango(

Jango is indeed monitored by SoundExchange as well as other Internet radio. Some services are free, some are not.

2.) Cable TV music channels – if you manage to have some of your sound recording works licensed in television works particularly cable TV; then that is also monitored by SoundExchange and you will be paid with royalties.

3.) Similar platforms for streaming sound recording work- This includes other music related websites that streams sound recording copyrighted works. Before you submit work, determine first if the website streaming are monitored by SoundExchange.

How to get started being a member of SoundExchange?

Of course you will never get paid if you are not affiliated with SoundExchange. Below are the important steps that you should do to become a member of SoundExchange:

Step1.) Make sure you have completed the registration of all your sound recording works in your government copyright office. If you are marketing music in the US, you can apply in US Copyright office. If you need more information about this topic, read this guide on sound recording copyright registration process.

Wait until you have either the copyright registration number of your sound recording works or much better a copy of the copyright certificate from the US Copyright office.

Step2.) Register with SoundExchange. You can go to to register.

You can either choose to register online or using the traditional paper form application. It is important to complete the application and confirm with SoundExchange that your registration is successful. Put correct and updated information in the application form, make sure all entries are correct, for example the payee name, bank information, etc. This is needed by Soundexchange to properly paid royalties.

Step3.) Register your repertoire or catalog with SoundExchange.

When can I be paid with royalties?

Soundexchange will pay you royalties if you reach the $10 threshold. As a member, they will monitor the performance of your sound recording work worldwide. You can then login online to track how your catalog performs.

What can I do to increase my royalty earnings?

As discussed previously, you should maximize the exposure of your music in those channels monitored closely by Soundexchange. So this means you will need to do a lot of marketing and research work in how to get your sound recording work in Internet radio, webcast, satellite radio and cable television music channels.

What are the most important requirement to comply to ensure that my sound recording work will be monitored by SoundExchange and get paid with royalties?

There are actually 3 most important requirements that you should take note:

1.) You should register your sound recording work in a government copyright office. This ensures your ownership and legality of your claim.

2.) You should be a member in SoundExchange and register your works.

3.) Your sound recording work should have ISRC code embedded in it. ISRC code is a numeric code embedded in your MP3 file which radio stations will be using to identify your sound recording work. They will then use it to report internet radio performance based on ISRC code of the songs in their playlist. If your sound recording work does not have ISRC code, the radio stations or recording labels may reject or deny your work to be included in their playlist. Or if you have manage to have your music in a radio station playlist, your track will not be reported to Soundexchange for royalties.


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