Indie artist or self-published songwriter? Here’s how to get paid for your songs on Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus.
In an attempt to avoid copyright issues on its platform, Facebook has entered into major deals with music labels and publishers.
First, the social network signed a major pact with Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) and its parent, UMG. UMPG had previously declared war against Facebook by demanding that the platform remove videos featuring any of its songs.
Then, days later, the social network inked a licensing agreement with Sony/ATV, Irving Azoff’s GMR, and Kobalt. Accordingly, users on Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus have far less to worry about when uploading videos with copyrighted music.
In a major win for independent artists, Facebook also signed a deal with SESAC’s HFA/Rumblefish. This deal gives publishers the opportunity to enter into a direct licensing agreement with the platform. This includes independent artists who deliver title registrations to the HFA.
So, as an artist or songwriter, how can you start entering into a direct licensing agreement with Facebook?
Simple. Over the weekend, TuneRegistry emailed DMN the following steps.
TuneRegistry supplied us with the critical information for this post. They’re not the only way to get this done, but we’ll use them for this tutorial (and why not try them out).
You’ll only have until March 12th, 2018 to opt-in.
First, self-published songwriters will have to create an HFA Online Account for Facebook publishing royalties.
Once you have an account, simply log in. This account will also apply for royalties on Spotify, Apple, Napster, The Orchard, and 7Digital, among other services.
You can find out more information here.
Second, review the license agreement.
Click to view the Facebook agreement and opt in. You can access the Agreement Portal here.
Third, once you’ve accepted the offer, you’ll have a direct license between Facebook and yourself (or your company).
As explained earlier, you’ll need an HFA Online Account. You won’t need to be affiliated with HFA to participate.
Fourth, start adding songs to your catalog.
TuneRegistry is one way to do this.
Fifth, add your HFA publisher number to the publisher Contact record in your TuneRegistry account.
Self-published songwriters will have to create a company contact record on the Contact module beforehand.
Sixth, add your songs with all co-writers, publishers, and splits entered beforehand.
Head to the Registrations module. Click “Start” on U.S. Song Registrations. This will register your songs with Harry Fox Agency. Your song registration will also go to ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Crunch Digital, and Music Reports Inc. This ensures that all US PROs and rights administrators receive your song for other licensing and royalty obligations. You can then save the Registration Record as a PDF or print a copy.
Finally, confirm and submit your registration.
You can check the status in the Registrations tracking window.
That’s about it! Following these steps (or some variation on another platform) will ensure that artists and rightsholders get paid for songs on Facebook, Instagram, and Oculus.
For more information, you can check out TuneRegistry here.
Featured image by Super Furry Animals (CC by 2.0)
So what happens after the deadline? Will indie artists still earn royalties from Facebook? Will newer artists ever have a chance to enter into a direct license?
Can SongTrust do this for you?
Yes. I spoke with SongTrust reps today. They are working out a deal to be announced soon with Facebook to cover their artists.
Facebook just killed a ton of music start ups by entering music.
This is practically a flat out advertisement for TuneRegistry (Hi Dae!). What Daniel the author here fails to mention is that any songwriter who has an admin publishing company (Songtrust, Tunecore Publishing, CD Baby Pro, etc) is being opted into this by them.
To clarify, this is for SONGWRITER royalties. And like YouTube, only if you’re getting millions of views on a song you wrote, will you see any significant revenue. This is
not for you to make money playing covers (at least not yet) – this is so when you play a cover the publisher gets paid. Or if someone plays your cover, you get paid.
For comparison, YouTube is paying out around 15% (of the 55% they pay out from the ad revenue) as publishing (songwriter) revenue. That’s split between performance and mechanical.
SO! If you’re with a PRO (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SOCAN, etc) you’ll get your Facebook performance royalties already through them. And if you’re with an admin pub company, you’ll get your mechanicals through them. Which ain’t gonna be much.
Moral of the story is indie songwriter don’t actually need to do anything by any date – ESPECIALLY NOT signup for the mess that is HFA.
If you don’t have an admin publishing company (well, you’re not getting your international (or MOST) of your mechanical royalties), then you have bigger things to worry about than the pennies you’ll get from Facebook if you opt in via HFA.
Move along, nothing to see here…
Yes, Ari has it right. Be careful out there.
I’m sorry, I simply must correct some inaccuracies and issues here. Here you go:
“SO! If you’re with a PRO (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SOCAN, etc) you’ll get your Facebook performance royalties already through them.”
Except that ASCAP + BMI + SOCAN have not as of yet signed FB deals.
“What Daniel the author here fails to mention is that any songwriter who has an admin publishing company (Songtrust, Tunecore Publishing, CD Baby Pro, etc) is being opted into this by them.”
I’d double check that, don’t expect anyone to be proactively doing any of this stuff for you (hint: they’ll probably f– it up). Also HFA and PROs handle an entirely different type of songwriter royalty stream. So keep that in mind. Probably want to take bull by the horns here.
Takeaway: only SOME of the puzzle pieces are being put together here. The big publishers WILL take your money if you do not sign up for it. Be PROACTIVE and get in the paint or get robbed.
So you sign up to the new robbers to avoid getting jacked by the old boss? How about F all these people, go out and tour until enough people give a rat’s and then stick a broiling pole up every industry parasite you come in contact with? (the ones who make a living from ‘knowing the biz’ and ‘being insiders’.
I’m not so sure Facebook revenues are being factored into ASCAP or BMI calculations at this stage.
Neither ASCAP nor BMI have announced Facebook deals, at least that I’m aware of. That’s 90%+ of the performance royalty market. So far, looks like SESAC and GMR are the only PROs to cross the line.
Do you have to be BMI or ASCAP? Does it matter?
Good for now that publishers are able to opt-in directly and monetize one of the largest copyright infringers in the world in order to fix this gap, but where are all the PRO’s which host collectively millions of copyrights throughout 150+ countries (where PRO’s exist) and facebook is doing business in. They should also save a deal if there is the possibility. I know that they are slow as hell, but publishers and authors have (at least most of the times) collectively shared the online-rights with the PRO. E.g. in Germany it is not possible to cherry pick facebook to opt-in such a deal directly (,which is a mess in my opinion)… Go for it GEMA, PRS, AKM, BUMA, etc. etc…and do what is written in the law books!!
We will see when the master rights side will follow with deals likewise! Labels and Artists would love that!