Getting your profiles verified offers more than just validation, but it definitely does feel exciting! Generally, the main networks to be looking at getting verified on are Apple Music, Spotify, Facebook and Twitter. In this article we’ll give you a brief but informative guide on how to get verified on each of these platforms.
Apple Music verification requires you to log into Apple Connect using your Apple ID. From here, you must select the type of content you’d like to manage. Next, you can add an artist/label. It is recommended that you add your artist/label page URL from the iTunes Store on your browser to avoid any confusion. Generally, it takes 7-10 business days to process the request, and so making sure you have the right page before you submit your request can save you a lot of time.
Over on Spotify, there are different routes depending on what you want to verify. For artists – head over to artists.spotify. For labels – you must have at least 250 followers, have music currently appearing on the service and a working user profile that is not merged with an artist page. If you can prove this, then the next step to verification is to fill out this form. If eligible, your verification should be within two weeks.
To get the blue tick on Facebook, go to the top of your page and follow: Settings – General – Page Verification. The process asks you to provide a publicly listed phone number, your country and language and for Facebook to call you. The call will give you a 4-digit code to verify yourself.
For Twitter verification, the blue bird asks quite simply that you fill out this form. Like the other platforms, Twitter insists that you meet their small list of requirements, which can be found here).
Publishing can be a very tricky area of the music industry to understand. As if the concept of what publishing is wasn’t difficult enough, there are a huge number of acronyms and organisations to remember. Luckily we are here to help make sense of it all for you.
Music publishers are essentially the people who administer the rights for songwriters and composers on a piece of music. When a song is created there can often be songwriters consulted who are not members of the band or performing act. In order to make sure they receive royalties for their work, a song is split into two different parts when dealing with rights. Publishers deal with the rights for the composition of the song and the written work, whereas labels typically deal with the recording of the song as a different component (often known as the master).
When signing to a publisher in the UK, they will work together with the UK collection society called PRS (similar organisations exist in other countries under different names). The PRS is an organisation that represents songwriters, composers and publishers, collecting royalties on their behalf whenever their music is performed publicly. This can be when the song is played live, on TV, radio or in public places like retail shops.
As if the split between recording and composition wasn’t confusing enough, there are also a few types of income streams with publishing. These are:
When singing a publishing deal there are a few different kinds of typical scenarios you can expect:
Single Song Assignment - Also referred to as a specific agreement. This is where the publisher will only publish individual songs and the songwriter is not exclusively signed to them. They can enter into as many single song agreements as they wish. The agreement is also made for a specific period of time.
Exclusive Writer Contract - This type of deal is more serious and is worth seeking legal advice for before signing. The entire catalogue of the writer is covered by this agreement and could include a recoupable advance for the writer. Make sure to look at the length of the agreement, the territories involved and the royalty split when signing this agreement.
Administration - This is a different kind of contract where the writer does not sign any publishing rights away, and does not involve any creative endeavours such as sync opportunities. Instead this brings in a third party to handle the administrative work of publishing, such as collecting foreign income through sub-publishers in other territories. The administrator will take a percentage of the royalties for this work.
Sub-publishing Agreement - This is a deal that publishers make with other publishers and is generally done without the involving the writer. If a publisher feels that the writers work would be better represented in another territory by a different publisher, they will write a sub-publisher agreement to do this. For example, if a publisher in England would like to publish in America they may find an American publisher to work with. The advantages of this are that that publisher could be an expert in their territory and have good contacts. Royalties would also flow quicker as that publisher can collect more easily for their territory. The disadvantages of this however is that there are more parties taking a cut of royalties before they reach the writer, and when new developments occur for the writer it can take a long time to update each and every publisher about what is going on.
Synchronisation - This contract can be made to either a publisher or a specialised sync company. This deal solely covers trying to license music for sync and collecting money from that. Typically there is a 50/50 royalty split between the writer and sync company but this can vary. Specialised companies tend to have better contacts in TV and film companies, but it is worth looking at what successful placements they have done in the past.
Overall publishing can create a great source of income for artists aside from regular sales of music. It also means you are not missing out on royalties you are potentially owed and creates great exposure opportunities through sync placements. Hopefully this helps you to understand a little more about publishing and what its place is within the music world.
If you are planning on releasing a release of cover songs there are a few things you need to consider before submitting to us.
Do I need a license to release globally?
To distribute your release to the United States you will need to obtain a Harry Fox license. If you do not have this license you cannot release in the US. For the rest of the world you do not need a license. If you would like to omit the United States from you release but would like to release everywhere else please enter in the ISO code: “US” in the ‘Licensed territories to exclude’ field.
Your release will then be distributed everywhere except the United states. All other territories are dealt with by the stores at the point of sale (stores pay the collection societies from cut of sales).
You should make every effort to ensure that your cover of the chosen song is not too similar to the original as these will not be accepted by certain stores; try to make the song your own.
Who do I need to credit?
When releasing covers you must credit the original songwriters and the publishers. You can do this by entering them in the ‘Composers’ and ‘Publisher’ fields on your release.
You should always try to get permission from the original publisher.
You must not mention the original artist in the track or release title. Phrases such as “originally performed by” or “in the style of” should also not be used.
What happens about my royalties?
Royalties for cover songs are processed in the same way as usual. The amount you have earned will appear on the Client Zone in the normal way, however the PRS cut will have already been taken at the point of sale.