Are You Getting Paid Everything You’re Owed from Spotify?

Am I getting paid everything I'm owed from Spotify?Have you collected all the royalties you’re owed from streaming services like Spotify and Rdio?

If you don’t have a publishing administrator working on your behalf, the answer is probably NO. But I should make it clear upfront that this isn’t Spotify’s fault. It’s not like they’re holding out on you! It’s just one of those crazy things about how the world of music publishing works (or doesn’t) for indie artists. But don’t despair — CD Baby Pro offers a simple solution to this problem! (More on that later).

So which monies have you been missing out on? Read on to find out…

Four ways you can make money through Spotify

1. The regular ‘ole payment for the stream —

Some folks call this a “master use royalty;” others call it the “artist royalty;” technically, it’s a payment for streaming your licensed sound recording. If you’re distributing your music through CD Baby, it’s the money you’re paid by Spotify each time your music is streamed. You’ll see a complete report of streams and payments in the accounting section of your CD Baby member’s account.

2. Mechanical royalties —

Services like Spotify, Rdio, even YouTube, owe you a mechanical royalty every time music you’ve written is streamed. Sadly, mechanical royalties generally aren’t paid directly to independent songwriters — but to agencies like HFA (in the US). If you have a lot of plays on Spotify, those royalties are adding up AND going uncollected — unless you have a publishing administrator working on your behalf.

With CD Baby Pro, we’ll act as your publishing administrator and make sure you get paid all the publishing royalties you’re owed — both mechanical royalties for global streams and international downloads, as well as performance royalties for the usage of your music on radio, TV,films, in live venues, etc.

For more info about what mechanical royalties are, click HERE.

3. Performance royalties — 

If you’re registered as both a songwriter and publisher with a performing rights organization such as ASCAP or BMI, then you’ll receive these royalties through them for any Spotify plays.

If you’re not already registered with a performing rights organization, check out CD Baby Pro. We’ll affiliate you as a songwriter with ASCAP or BMI, register your songs with collection societies around the world, and make sure you’re set up to collect all your publishing royalties.

For more information about what performance royalties are, click HERE.

Publishing Guide: Get Paid the Money You Are Owed

4. Performance royalties for the master recording — 

Traditional music publishing deals with the song itself (on behalf of the songwriter and music publisher) — NOT any particular recording of that song. So what about the people who own the sound recording that is actually getting played? That’s where a company called SoundExchange comes in.

SoundExchange is now authorized to collect performance royalties on behalf of the people who helped create a particular sound recording – including session players, record labels, etc. Spotify pays these kinds of performance royalties to SoundExchange for “non-interactive” plays via Spotify Radio (though NOT for on-demand streams).

To collect them, register with SoundExchange today.


If you’re more of a visual learner, check out our infographic, “How CD Baby Pro Collects Publishing Royalties from Spotify.”

How CD Baby Pro Collects Music Publishing Royalties from Spotify

To make sure you’re getting paid all the publishing royalties you’re owed from streaming services like Spotify, Rdio, and YouTube, sign up for CD Baby Pro today.

Publishing Guide: Get Paid the Money You Are Owed

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