8 Song Release Essentials – Every Artist and Producer Must Do


Find out the 8 song release essentials you need to know before you release your next song.

Ensuring that you have a solid song pre-release plan in place is a must!

Actions before release can make all the difference in whether it will be a huge success or a major flop!

If you don’t want it to be the latter, pay close attention to these 8 song release essentials. These tips will go a long way towards protecting your music in the long run. And also for when things really start to take off!

1. Have a Music Producer Agreement in Place

You may be best friends with your producer. But who owns what when the money comes?

A music producer contract is an agreement defining the specific terms of a relationship between a producer and an artist. It determines each party's rights, responsibilities, compensation, and other crucial details. This is a must-have on your song pre-release list. Get into the habit of getting a contract signed by your music producer. It is an important part of the recording process. A Music Producer Contract goes beyond the split sheet although you should also have one of those in place too…

Click here to download a Music Producer Contract.

2. Have Contractual Agreements in Place with Every person you collaborate with

You can do this with a simple split sheet. You can read more about split sheets

At the very least complete this form with signatures. It shows everybody has come to an agreement over who owns what parts of the song. A must song pre-release step.

Because without one U.S copyright laws says everyone who had an input owns the work 100%!!!

That is not going to work!

Have a discussion with anyone that you collaborate with on your song pre-release. Get it down on paper with a signature.

We’re not saying don't trust people but let’s face it, the world of business is complex. Money does and will change matters so unless you intend on splitting with your co-authors evenly, don’t be carte blanche!

Be clear with everyone on what percentage they are entitled to from the get-go before the time of production.

It is really important to do this pre-release, otherwise, you can end up in a tough situation.

3. Join a Performing Rights Organisation AKA a PRO

Before you release any music you need to be a member of a PRO. Every country has their own, some of the most well known are ASCAP, BMI and PRS.

Check out our article Performing Rights Organisations 101: All About PRO’s if you want or need more info!

4. Register for Mechanical Royalties

Mechanical licenses ensure the right person gets Mechanical Royalties, you can click here and read ‘What Are Mechanical Royalties?’ if you're unsure about it all.

5. Register with SoundExchange

SoundExchange is a non-profit collective rights management organization. The company collects and distributes royalties to their artists for music that’s played on cable satellite and on online streaming platforms. Be sure to register an account and submit your catalogue to them as it’s how you can get paid for Pandora, SiriusXM and all other digital radio plays.

6. Get an International Standard Recording Code(ISRC)

An ISRC is a music tracking code that verifies associated recording information like your name, track title, album title, and if applicable, your label name

Each ISRC is unique and is made up of 12 characters- you will need one for every song you make.

ISRC stands for International standard recording code and it’s basically a kind of digital fingerprint for your music.

This tracking code digitally identifies a song therefore it can be linked to whoever owns it.

This will need to be done on your song pre-release as it goes into the metadata of your song during mastering and it is a way for different distribution channels to identify the song when it appears in different formats.

If you plan to release your music commercially or for free, you should get an ISRC - Click here to head over to the official ISRC website to find out more.

7. Write and Put Out a Press Release

A press-release is the single most important piece of information needed for your song pre-release…next to the music, of course, as it will give you publicity and create some hype around your upcoming release.

To be able to sell your music, you have to let people know that it’s available right?

Whether it's an album or a new single that you're about to drop, make a press-release an important piece of your pre-release song strategy, you can even put one out to let your fans know about upcoming tour dates.

A well-written press release can spread the word to get you some media attention and blog coverage for your song pre-release.

Click here for some help on how to write yourself a Press Release or you can click here to find PR services right here on Indiy and have someone do it for you.

8. Always seek legal advice before release

The music industry is an ever-changing world of contracts, licensing, and the fight for artist ownership. There are certain dangers of entering into agreements without legal counsel. As well as some often-overlooked benefits of having an attorney involved in various aspects of a career in music. The rule that "ignorance is no excuse" applies when it comes to the complexities that come with being a professional musician.

If you need a music attorney we have you covered just click here

Song Release Essentials Wrap-Up

In conclusion, we hope that we have given you some insight on what to think about when it comes to releasing your song. We can't stress enough the importance of making sure that you do everything in your power to promote and market your song. There is no such thing as a low-key release, so get creative and go all out!

As always, we want to thank you for reading this article and wish you the best of luck with your upcoming release!

Want to learn more ways to get prepared for your song pre-release check out our other article 10 Strategies to Guarantee Your Tracks Get Noticed Pre-Release’
Good luck on your music journey victory hand


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Andrea graduated from Roehampton University and The BRIT School, whose globally recognized alumni include Adele, Katy B, Ella Eyre, FKA Twigs, Jessie J, Leona Lewis, Katie Melua, Kate Nash and the Rizzle Kicks. She takes her love of the arts and entertainment industry to provide useful information to upcoming musicians, helping them navigate the industry and avoid making costly mistakes. She actively mentors our current contributors. Andrea has qualifications in Content Marketing and also manages our collaborative playlists for independent artists

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