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4 ways to earn money from your music on Spotify

Are you getting paid everything you're owed from Spotify?

Are you getting paid everything you’re owed from your music on Spotify?

If you don’t have a publishing administrator working on your behalf, the answer is probably NO.

In many cases, for every $100 your sound recording has generated on Spotify, there could be another $15 owed to you in (uncollected) mechanical royalties. That’s YOUR money just sitting there.

But this isn’t Spotify’s fault. It’s simply — or not so simply — one of those weird things about how traditional music publishing works (or doesn’t) for indie artists.

Here’s the good news: CD Baby Pro has a simple solution to this problem.

But first, which monies have you been missing out on?

Four ways you can make money through Spotify


1. The regular ‘ole payment for the stream —

Some people call this a “master use royalty.” Others call it the “artist royalty.”

Technically, it’s the payment for streaming your licensed sound recording.

If you’re distributing your music through CD Baby, it’s the money you’re paid by Spotify each time your music is streamed. You’ll see a complete report of streams and payments in the accounting section of your CD Baby member’s account.

2. Mechanical royalties —

Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music owe you a mechanical royalty every time music you’ve written is streamed.

With Spotify, those mechanical royalties aren’t paid directly to independent songwriters, but (in the US) to the Harry Fox Agency, or HFA. If you have a lot of plays on Spotify, those royalties are adding up AND going uncollected unless you have a publishing administrator working on your behalf.

With CD Baby Pro, we’ll act as your publishing administrator and make sure you get paid all the publishing royalties you’re owed — both mechanical royalties for global streams and international downloads, as well as performance royalties for the usage of your music on radio, TV,films, in live venues, etc.

For more info about what mechanical royalties are, click HERE.

3. Performance royalties — 

If you’re registered as both a songwriter and publisher with a performing rights organization such as ASCAP or BMI, then you’ll receive these royalties through them for any Spotify plays.

If you’re not already registered with a performing rights organization, check out CD Baby Pro. We’ll affiliate you as a songwriter with ASCAP or BMI, register your songs with collection societies around the world, and make sure you’re set up to collect all your publishing royalties.

For more information about what performance royalties are, click HERE.

4. Performance royalties for the master recording — 

Traditional music publishing deals with the copyright to the song itself (on behalf of the songwriter and music publisher), NOT any particular recording of that song.

So what about the people who helped create the sound recording that is actually getting played (the artist, the players, and the label)? That’s where a company called SoundExchange comes in.

Since Spotify uses the compulsory license for sound recordings, they pay digital performance royalties to SoundExchange for “non-interactive” plays via mobile radio (though NOT for on-demand streams). That money is then distributed by SoundExchange to the parties that helped create the sound recording.

To collect this kind of royalty, register with SoundExchange today.

Check out these articles for info on promoting your music on Spotify:

1. How and when to make a Spotify playlist to promote your music2. How to get your music into a playlist on Spotify

3. How an indie artist earned $56k from one song on Spotify

4. “My band would be nowhere without Spotify”

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