Publishing companies you should know about

In our last blog we talked about what is needed of you after you’ve recorded your album.  Before you’ve announced your cd release party, and certainly before you release the album, there are a number of companies you need to register with in order to get your song played, distributed and get money in your pocket.


First we’ll go over a list of that an independent artist in North America needs to register with to make sure you’re ready to release your album:


  • SOCAN (Canada)
    This is a means of licensing your songs so that you get paid your respected royalties for radio, performances and sales of your music.  Note that SOCAN is for Canadian content only.
  • BMI or ASCAP (USA)
    These are the liscensing companies for artists in America.  Note that you cannot register with both, you must choose one. From experience, you get paid faster and more frequently with BMI.
    Actra is a company responsible for monitoring that Canadian Artists are being payed the correct amount for how often your songs are played and performed.
    This is an American performing rights organization the same as ACRTA but in America.
  • Sound Exchange
    Distributes your digital performance royalties.  All downloads and online sales will be paid to you through sound exchange.
  • Soundscan
    This is the official method of tracking sales and music video products throughout North America.

Next a list of industry items that require a Publisher to collect on your behalf:

CMRRA (Canada)
This is a music licensing agency that represents the majority of music publishers and copyright owners in Canada.

  • Harry Fox (USA)
    This is the largest licensing agency for American artists, collecting money for licensees based on their album sales and radio plays.
  • Touchtunes
    This is the most successful jukebox company on the planet, getting it’s name in bars all around North America, and now getting over 1.9 million downloads of their jukebox mobile app.
  • Music Reports
    This is the largest copyright and music rights organization in the world.  They track and report all of your royalties on a global scale.
  • Medianet
    Gets you paid from targeting advertising opportunities for you band.


Registering with these organizations will make sure your album is properly licensed, copyrighted, and that you will collect the correct amount of moneys for your music. It may seem like a lot of work, but it is worth it, because that extra $200 a month for a musician can go a long way!

Posted in: Artist Advice, Artist Consulting, Indie Music Tips.