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The 10 Must-Do Steps for a Successful Song Release


In this article ADAM 4 Artists tackles the 10 most important steps artists must take prior to releasing new music!


As a musician, releasing new music can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. While it's important to focus on the creative aspects of the song, it's equally crucial to ensure that the administrative tasks are taken care of before releasing the track. Here are ten administrative actions that musicians should take prior to releasing a new song, along with the names of potential service providers to help with these tasks

  1. Copyright Registration: Before releasing a new song, musicians should ensure that the track is copyrighted. Copyright protection gives musicians legal rights to their music and prevents others from using their work without permission. In the United States, musicians can register their copyright online with the U.S. Copyright Office. In the USA, artists can copyright one to ten songs for less than $100. Other countries have their own copyright offices, such as the UK Intellectual Property Office and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

  2. Music Distribution: Musicians need to decide on how they will distribute their music. Will they distribute the track on streaming platforms, sell it as a digital download, or distribute physical copies? The decision will determine how the music will reach its audience. There are various music distribution services available, such as DistroKid, CD Baby, and TuneCore.

  3. Licensing: If the musician plans to use their song in a film, TV show, or commercial, they will need to license the track. Licensing agreements allow others to use the music for a specified purpose, and the musician will receive compensation for the use of their work. There are music licensing companies, such as Musicbed and Artlist, that can help musicians with licensing their music.

  4. Metadata: Metadata is information that describes the song, including the title, artist name, release date, and genre. This information is essential for music distributors to categorize and promote the music properly. Musicians can use metadata services, such as TuneCore or DistroKid, to ensure that their music's metadata is accurate.

  5. ISRC Code: An International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is a unique code that identifies a specific sound recording. Musicians should obtain an ISRC code for their track as it helps with tracking music plays and royalties. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) provides ISRC codes for US-based musicians, while other countries have their own ISRC code issuers. All major distribution services provide every song uploaded an ISRC number, making the process seamless and carefree... BUT, as ADAM's Chief Legal officer & Entertainment Lawyer, Stacy Epps will tell you, consider getting your own directly from USISRC.org.

  6. Mechanical Royalties: Mechanical royalties are paid to the songwriter and music publisher for the reproduction and distribution of the music. Musicians should ensure that they have registered with the appropriate mechanical licensing agency in their country to receive mechanical royalties. In the US, the Harry Fox Agency handles mechanical licenses, while in the UK, PRS for Music handles these royalties.

  7. Performance Royalties: Performance royalties are paid to the songwriter and music publisher when their music is performed publicly. Musicians should ensure that they have registered with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) to receive performance royalties. PROs, such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, collect performance royalties and distribute them to their members.

  8. Cover Art: The cover art is the visual representation of the song and is an important factor in marketing the music. Musicians should ensure that they have a visually appealing cover art that reflects the song's mood and style. Musicians can use freelance graphic designers from services like Fiverr or create their own cover art using Canva.

  9. Promotion Plan: A promotion plan outlines how the musician plans to market their music to their audience. It can include social media marketing, live performances, radio airplay, and other promotional activities. Musicians can use marketing agencies, such as ADAM 4 Artists to help them develop and execute their promotion plan.

  10. Budget: Finally, musicians should create a budget for their release. This budget should include the cost of recording the music, producing creative content, and promoting & marketing the song. Musicians can order a consultation with ADAM 4 Artists for this.



In conclusion, releasing a new song requires more than just creativity and talent. Musicians must also focus on the administrative tasks that come with releasing a new track. By taking care of these ten actions, musicians can ensure that their music is properly protected, distributed, and promoted, giving them the best chance of success.

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