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Songtrust Pricing: Prices & Fees Explained

By Matthew Vultaggio

April 19, 2021

When figuring out how to best collect the music publishing royalties owed to you, it only makes sense to understand Songtrust’s pricing structure in detail so you can tell if Songtrust is right for you and to make sure you make as much money as possible from your music.

Songtrust charges a one-time $100 fee per songwriter upfront, as well as a 15% cut on any royalties that Songtrust collects on your behalf. The one-time fee is used to cover setup and administrative costs, like paying any performing rights organization’s sign-up fees for you.

P.S. It’s also worth noting that there is a Songtrust discount code available so that new users can save on the upfront fee.

Although Songtrust’s pricing is quite fair and straightforward, it is definitely worth learning more detail about the 15% commission that they take as well as knowing how you can tell if you will actually make back the signup fee from royalties that Songtrust provides.

So, to learn more about Songtrust’s pricing and whether you should join Songtrust or not, simply keep on reading, my friend. 🙂

How much does Songtrust cost?

From researching Songtrust‘s pricing online, it looks like they have adjusted their pricing a few times before landing on this simplified version of how they charge their customers. Thankfully, they did because before it seemed like originally the one-time setup fee was much higher and that they used to charge $1 per song that you submitted through them.

Their fees are much simpler (and better, in my opinion) now.

Songtrust costs $100 to join. This one-time fee is paid upfront and is used to cover setup and administrative fees. Beyond that, Songtrust takes a 15% cut on any royalties that they collect on your behalf.

This means that there are two components to Songtrust’s pricing that we should look into closer to get a complete understand of what it costs to use Songtrust and whether or not it is worth it to join:

  • The $100 setup fee
  • The 15% cut that they take

Songtrust’s setup fee is said to be used to cover “setup and administrative fees”. I would imagine that this is mostly used to pay any performing rights organization’s sign-up fees for you and to cover any overhead like website server costs and support staff.

On top of this, there is actually a Songtrust discount code available so that new users can save on the upfront fee.

Although this setup fee does seem fair, the main thing that you need to do is assess whether or not you will be able to get that money back from the additional royalties that Songtrust will be dropping into your bank account.

I go into more detail on how you can tell if your music is being played enough to make back the setup fee later in this article, but for now, let’s stay focused on Songtrust’s actual pricing. 🙂

When it comes to Songtrust’s 15% cut, it’s very important to note that they are only collecting the “publisher’s share” of your music publishing royalties, so they are actually only taking a 15% cut of a cut.

Let me explain…

When your music played, there are two main royalties that are generated: master recording royalties and music publishing royalties.

For the most part, master recording royalties are paid by Spotify who sends this money to your record label or music distributor, who then pays that out to you. Songtrust has no part in this and does not pay this out to you at all.

The music publishing royalties are what Songtrust handles, and they are broken down into two parts: the publisher’s share and the writer’s share.

Songtrust only directly collects your publisher’s share, while your writer’s share actually comes directly from your Performing Rights Organization (ie: BMI, ASCAP, SOCAN, etc).

Songtrust will capture that writer’s share from the Performing Rights Organizations all around the world for you and drop it into your bank account, however, because they are only directly collecting the publisher’s share, they only take a 15% cut from that publisher’s share, leaving the writer’s share untouched.

In my opinion, this makes Songtrust’s pricing incredibly, incredibly fair.

Now, the world of music publishing can definitely be confusing, so I’ll answer a few common questions on Songtrust’s pricing before diving into how YOU can tell if Songtrust is right for you based on your personal situation.

Is Songtrust a one time fee?

Songtrust has a one-time fee per writer to cover setup and administrative costs. Beyond that, Songtrust takes a 15% cut on any royalties that they collect on the writers behalf.

Songtrust states that this registration fee is used to cover “setup and administrative fees”. It is safe to assume that this mostly used to:

  • Pay any performing rights organization’s sign-up fees for you
  • Cover any overhead like website server costs and support staff

Is Songtrust exclusive?

Songtrust is not exclusive. Songtrust users have the ability to choose which songs they would like to register with Songtrust and have the ability to leave Songtrust after being with them for 1 year.

This combination of being able to choose which songs to register and only having to stay with Songtrust for 1 year makes them quite flexible and easy to work with. The 1-year term is pushed by Songtrust because this is generally how long it takes for any publishing administration company to collect on most royalties around the world and prove their worth.

Does Songtrust collect YouTube royalties?

Songtrust does collect YouTube royalties on the behalf of its users. After registering with Songtrust, users have the ability to opt-in to a feature called YouTube Monitor which handles monetization from YouTube.

Songtrust‘s YouTube Monitor feature allows for:

Does Songtrust distribute music?

Songtrust does not distribute music. Songtrust simply acts as a publishing administrator to register songs and collect music publishing royalties for those registered songs.

In essence, Songtrust helps writers collect royalties that are not collected by their music distributor but can’t act as a music distributor and get their music up on streaming services and stores in the first place.

Songtrust Discount Code: How To Save

Once you’ve decided to join Songtrust so that you can stop leaving money on the table, it is important to know about the Songtrust discount code before getting signed up.

You can use the Songtrust discount code 256343a-DB0 to save 10% off when joining Songtrust. This promo code must be applied at checkout by clicking on the “Have a discount code?” link.

Your Songtrust discount code: 256343a-DB0

If you are ready to start collecting all the royalty money owed to you, copy the discount code above and then click here to get started.

However, if you’d like to learn more about Songtrust, how the discount code works, and exactly how to use it, check out my article called: Songtrust Discount Code: How To Get The Promo Price

Do I need Songtrust?

To put it simply: Songtrust is a no-brainer to join as long as you know that you can easily recoup their one-time signup fee.

After making the money back from that setup fee, you can start to enjoy making additional money from music publishing royalties with little to no effort on your part. Additionally, after getting signed up, you can also continue to add new songs without paying any additional costs.

On top of this, you can use the Songtrust discount code mentioned above to make it even easier to recoup that signup fee.

Here are some ways you can tell if you should join Songtrust or hold off for the time being…

Consider joining Songtrust if:

  • Your music is being played all around the world
  • Your music is being played thousands of times per month
  • You do not want to sign up and deal with PROs all around the world
  • You do not want to (or can’t) sign a traditional publishing deal or create your own publishing company
  • You’d prefer a simple way to collect all your music publishing royalties and feel confident you aren’t leaving any money on the table

If the above sounds like you, click here to learn more about getting up and running with Songtrust.

Hold off on joining Songtrust if:

  • Your music is not currently getting very many plays per month
  • Your music is only being played in 1 or 2 countries

If the above sounds like you, I’ve put together a free course called The 6 Secrets To Spotify Success that you can check out to learn how to bump your numbers up all around the globe. 🙂

Do I need Songtrust if I have DistroKid?

DistroKid is a music distribution company that allows artists to get their music on online stores and streaming services while Songtrust is a publishing administration company that helps artists collect publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties.

DistroKid does these things for artists:

  • Uploads your music to Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
  • Collects the master recording royalties and payments for you (ie: Spotify royalties)

Songtrust does these things for artists:

  • Collects the music publishing royalties for you (ie: performance royalties and mechanical royalties)
  • Signs up you for and allows you to easily submit your music to performance rights organizations around the world

To learn more about how these 2 services compare, check out my article on Songtrust vs DistroKid. 🙂

Songtrust vs BMI

You will Songtrust in addition to BMI if your music is being played a lot all around the globe. The key difference between Songtrust and BMI is that Songtrust collects performance and mechanical royalties from publishing rights organizations from all around the world.

Only performance rights organizations, like BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), can collect and distribute performance royalties to songwriters. However, Songtrust can collect these royalties on behalf of songwriters from performance rights organizations and even help songwriters register directly to performance rights organizations right from their Songtrust account.

So, in addition to managing your music catalog with BMI (or your performance rights organization of your choice) and collecting your performance royalties from them, Songtrust can also increase your income by collecting global performance royalties and mechanical royalties.

To learn more about how these 2 compare, check out my full article on Songtrust vs BMI. 🙂

Some of my favorite music marketing tools

Thank you for reading this article, my friend, and I hope you found it helpful as you build your own successful career in music. 🙂

Here is a list of my favorite and most recommended tools and resources that I’ve personally used to get my music streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify as an artist.

Any of the paid services or tools listed here are most likely affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a small commission.

But in all honesty, these are the exact tools that I personally use, love, and recommend to anyone – including my own friends and family.

Music Distribution

To get your music on Spotify on all the other streaming services, I use DistroKid because you get unlimited song uploads for a low annual price.

If you want to learn more about DistroKid and music distribution, check out the in-depth DistroKid review that I’ve put together.

Or, if you want to get started with DistroKid right now, you can save on your first year with the DistroKid discount.

Music Publishing Royalties Collection

For collecting all of the publishing, mechanical, and live performance royalties owed to me whenever my music gets streamed or played, my go-to is Songtrust.

Songtrust is a publishing administration company which means that in addition to collecting all of those royalties for me, they do it on a global level.

To learn if Songtrust is right for you, I’d recommend checking out this article on Songtrust vs BMI.

And if you want to get started with Songtrust right now, I’d recommend learning about the Songtrust discount code so that you can get the best price. 🙂

Website & Smart Links

I’m personally not a big fan of the link-in-bio and smart links for music pages like ToneDen and Hyppeddit.

Instead, I prefer having a full-blown WordPress website that allows me to have a full website in addition to unlimited music links.

For getting started with this, I really like Bluehost because it is the cheapest and a theme called Thrive Themes because it is the most flexible and easiest to use.

I’ve actually created a free Smart Links Course that you can take to learn how to get set up and start getting more streams with custom smart links (I’ve even included the templates I am using!).

Want more tools and resources for your music career?

If you’d like to see even more of my favorite marketing tools and resources for musicians and music artists, I’ve created an even larger list on this page: Best Marketing Tools & Resources For Musicians (& Music Artists).

P.S. There are even some free tools and resources included on that page as well! 🙂

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