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Self-releasing sound recordings

2 min read

What does it mean to self-release?

Self-releasing means artists retain all their sound recording rights.

creating and releasing without a involved are considered independent self-releasing artists.

If this applies to you, then you may own the in the sound recordings and possibly all the ,—except, of course, if you collaborated with others and have negotiated with them. Explore our page on Sound Recording Splits.

If you are recording a musical work written by someone else, an or , it's important to understand the different protected by and how they apply to and sound recordings, so visit our Music Creators’ Rights topic to learn more.

What you need to do if you self-release 

If you are an independent, self-releasing artist, you are responsible for the of your sound recordings and the collection of your and other income. This means the responsibility to your sound recordings with a and ensure you receive all the income owed rests with you.

It also means you take on all the actions a record label might carry out for their to monetize the sound recordings.

This includes:

  • Supporting the recording process

  • Manufacturing and distributing both physical and digital formats to physical retailers and

  • Registering new sound recordings with CMOs

  • sound recordings for a wide range of uses, including digital streaming, download sales, and in films, TV shows, and commercials

  • Promoting your sound recordings and doing your own marketing and career development

Self-releasing artists will need to work with a or to have their works appear on many streaming platforms. However, some DSPs allow individual users to upload their sound recordings directly.

For more information, see our Distributors page.

Image credit: Martin Fabricius Rasmussen