Six important tasks you should do if you're a self-published music creator

You could boost your royalties by following these simple steps.

woman playing guitar in front of computer and music recording equipment

While being self-published means you have more control over the use of your work, it also means that more admin is required when it comes to ensuring that you’re receiving all the royalties due to you.

It’s important to be aware of all your options if you’re a self-published music creator — here are six things to keep in mind.

1. Consider joining MCPS 

MCPS collect mechanical royalties for their members. These are royalties owed to music creators and publishers when their music is reproduced such as on streams, downloads, vinyl, TV, film and radio.

Broadcasters may choose not to use your music if you’re not an MCPS member, as it can be harder to license your music.

So, if you’re unpublished and not an MCPS member, you could be missing out on vital streams of  revenue.

2. Register all your music 

You can start earning royalties from your works with Register My Music . Check ‘My Works’ on your online account to ensure all your works, both new and old, are registered accurately.

It’s also important to authorise your shares  on a work, even if it’s already been registered by a co-writer or their publisher — otherwise, you could be missing out on royalties.

Even if your music appears under ‘My Works’, if you didn’t register it yourself it will not be authorised. You’ll need to log in to your account, amend the registration and add your own shares.

3. Are you due unpaid royalties?

Sometimes music is used (e.g. on TV or radio) and we're unable to identify who to pay. This is often because the work wasn’t registered when the usage was reported to us. Use our online tools  to claim any royalties that belong to you. 

4. Is any of your music ‘unnotified’? 

When we find that a piece of music has been used but we can’t match the use to an existing registration, we’ll create a work and label it ‘unnotified’.

If you can see an unnotified work under ‘My Works’, make sure you register your shares by clicking ‘Register This Work’ in the top right corner when viewing the work. This will ensure that it’s accurately registered, meaning you’ll receive your correct share of the royalties.

5. Report live shows

Upload your setlists and programmes from any live gigs, festivals, DJ sets or classical concerts to your online account. By knowing what music was played and when, we can ensure the creators are paid. 

6. Make sure your bank details are up to date

You can make any required changes on your online account. Make sure you’ve done this by these dates  to ensure we don’t have to put your royalties on hold.

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