Every musician needs a revenue completeness check: Here’s how

As a musician, you don’t want to be leaving any money on the table. With this revenue completeness checklist, you can guarantee you’re capitalizing on opportunities to monetize your music.

Guest post by Randi Zimmerman of the Symphonic Blog

Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to monetize your music? This Revenue Completeness Checklist is a great way to guide your efforts as an independent musician. Refer back to this post and use this checklist to evaluate your progress and stay on track.

“You can’t knock on opportunity’s door and not be ready.” – Bruno Mars Click To Tweet

Releasing Music

  • Is your record released and on all platforms?

Alongside our legendary client support team, get the most out of your music with our technology, distribution network, royalty management, music monetization services, and marketing. Distribute your music to the largest network in the world, with 120+ stores and streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and many more at your disposal. — Click here to learn more about how we can help distribute your music around the world with ease.

  • Are you giving yourself ample time to build releases?
  • Are you effectively marketing those releases?

Sound Exchange

Need help with this? No problem. — Here at Symphonic, we can assist you in managing this line of revenue. In addition, there’s a good change you have unallocated royalties waiting for you there already if you have had any considerable Pandora, or Sirius XM radio play.

Neighboring Rights

The concept of neighboring rights is similar to that of performance rights, because both kinds of royalties are earned through public performances/broadcasts of music.

Sound recording owners (record labels and performing artists) collect Neighboring Rights royalties whenever their sound recordings are publicly performed on satellite radio (such as Sirius XM), internet radio (such as Pandora, BBC), cable TV music channels, TV outside of the USA, terrestrial radio outside of the USA, and much more.

  • If you are not getting plays here, you won’t be entitled to any money. However, if you ARE… this could be considerable revenue for you.

Live Streaming

  • Are you live streaming? — If not, why not?
  • Monetize live streams through a 3rd party provider or digital tip jar.

Check out “Creative Ways To Monetize Your Live Streams” to get some ideas.


  • Are you registered with a local PRO? (This is not the same as “having a pub deal”- Pick one, and sign up!
  • Do you have a publishing deal? or Are you properly administering your publishing?

If you do not have a publishing or admin deal you NEED to register yourself with the MLC (Mechanical Licensing Collective).

  • How much co-writing and collaboration are you doing with other writers? You can make great money writing with and for other artists!
  • Consider print publishing if you have songs that would be easily translated to sheet music for the enjoyment of others. This is a small piece of the pie, but can be good if you have an engaged audience who would buy it.

Want to learn more? — Check out “3 Types of Royalties Involved In Music Publishing”.

Live Shows

  • Are your tickets available for purchase online?
  • Do you have merch available?
  • Are you registered with a Performance Royalty Organization? (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC)

You need to make sure you’re registered with a Performing Rights Organization like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. This is crucial because these are the people that make sure you’re getting paid every time your song is played…. But don’t stop there. You’ll also want to look into mechanical royalties, aka the money you make when something is downloaded or sold on say, iTunes, which ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI don’t cover.

In the meantime, sharpen your legal skills and check out “Booking and Live Contracts for Musicians”.



This applies to publishing a bit, too. if you have a pub deal, you likely cannot do a sync rep deal for anything other than your masters.

  • Are you actively pitching for syncs?
  • Is your music appropriate for sync opportunities?

There are ways to make it more sync friendly and increase your chances for placements. — Check out “How to Optimize your Songwriting for Sync”.

  • Do you have split sheets for all of your music outlining who owns what?
  • Be sure to have instrumentals and clean mixes on hand of all songs. (Stems would be even more beneficial.)

Social Media / Tik Tok / Triller/ Facebook/ Twitter / Bandcamp, etc.

  • Are you on all of these platforms? You need to be!

You can monetize activity on these platforms – especially when it comes to the use of your music… assuming you have a distribution partner watching and monetizing there… *cough cough* that’s us!

These platforms are also essential to building and engaging your fan base. Success here is directly attributable to success at the DSPs and in the live show world.

In Conclusion…

This checklist is meant to help you make sure that you are monetizing your music in every way you can. Go down the list and check off what you’ve done and what you haven’t. Then, make sure you’re taking steps to complete everything you’re missing.

Good luck!

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