Is anyone using Songtrust to collect PRO royalties?

In the never-ending questions about PRO, I’ll add another one. I am registered with BMI, and I have used Songtrust to collect my royalties, but this was for music that I released as an album with distribution. The songs I am using for AJ are NOT on any albums, they are new compositions only used for sync. I am not sure if I register directly with BMI or do I use Songtrust (or similar) to collect my royalties for me.

TIA :slight_smile:


I’m interested in this topic too. I looked into it, but ultimately decided to register myself as a publisher through ASCAP and collect my publishing royalties directly from them. I did the same with MLC for the mechanical publishing royalties. Still waiting for my first distribution report, so I’ll see how it goes. I’ll probably give it a year or so to see how much money rolls in in comparison to my writer share royalties with PRS/MCPS. But if they fail to deliver, I’d definitely consider giving Songtrust a try. The main reason that I decided against using them is that I felt that using a collecting service to collect royalties from collecting agencies on my behalf seemed a bit too much of a stretch.

Are your royalties collected through Songtrust greater than the writer-share royalties that you collect directly through BMI?

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@criskcracker I pushed my songs over from BMI to Songtrust. I think the songs are still registered through BMI, but Songtrust is the one to collect, I think :upside_down_face: I am using Songtrust because they collect not only BMI royalties, but are supposed to collect from many other organizations in different countries. BMI is supposed to do this too, but I gather Songtrust does it better, maybe??

The issue I ran into was Songtrust typically deals in records, albums, songs that are distributed (like Distrokid, CDBaby) and they ask for ISRC codes. Since my songs for sync are not for traditional distribution (I have no plans on releasing them as an album!) , they have no ISRC codes, which made me think they are not the best place to register. I send them an email, but I do not expect a good answer lol. I may just register the songs with BMI for now. Heck, if it’s more than $100 after the first year I’d be surprised! :joy:

Question, when you register your songs, do you use a long title like “Acoustic guitar happy uplifting” or do you actually have a name?

Ahh, perhaps I’m mistaken. I thought Songtrust only collected publishing royalties. I didn’t know they also collect the writer’s share too.

Both PRS and ASCAP have the facility to include multiple titles for each registered track. But if I had to choose just one, I would choose the title that the customer is most likely to write on the cue sheet.

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There are many places online and offline where you can get ISRC. E.g. in Poland it’s for free in ZPAV and I’ve seen some online payed international services too. BTW aggregators like Distrokid, CDBaby etc. give you ISRC for the uploaded recordings too.

@RedOctopus thanks. Since I am not going to distribute these songs to streaming services, I was going to pass on using Distrokid (I use Distrokid for other music and they are awesome) . But I will look into the services that offer free codes. Thanks.

Thank you for the topic. I was wondering about Songtrust recently as well.
And it will be good to hear from somebody an experience of using this service.
Is it really better than just only BMI? How and wherу to register songs if you are registered both in BMI and Songtrust? Does it work with Soundmouse as well?

@az_studio Unfortunately, I cannot answer your question, hopefully someone else can! I don’t have enough credits to know which way is better. I only know that ST says they do a better job of collecting royalties outside of BMI/ASCAP. ST just collects, they are not PRO but I think if you register your songs in ST they will register with BMI too. It’s a bit confusing and frustrating.

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I know Songtrust is VERY popular among authors from the Eastern Europe. Btw their communities are way more active than forum. Way more.

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@RedOctopus Which communities can I be a part of? On their website I only see a Blog section. Thanks for all your help.

Songtrust is s*** Do not recommend them

@nolyrics Maybe you would share your story with us. The statement you gave is quite loud, yet not supported by any proofs.

I think many authors here in th community are inetrested in information about the author-publisher relationships. If you have such an experience, please share it with others.

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In my view there are two (broadly speaking) main tasks being a publisher. One is getting all the royalties in from various uses throughout the world. The second is finding new opportunities for authors like placements, synch or more writing.
Some giant publishers are good at the first but not very good at the second as they cater to a lot of authors.

no problem! :+1:

so, when it comes to stock, production music and relying on cue sheets (aka manual usage reports) , it’s really hard to judge the effectiveness of the pub administrator which is songtrust because it only provides global one click upload service, they do not monitor anything, they just send a registration request and that’s all

(it’s worth to mention that you will receive writer share from foreign country only after a few years if you ever get it especially if your track is making a lot of money in one country and you don’t have access to the real time data, which is what the territory exclusion contract does and fix for you, if you already know what’s your most popular countries are)

From my experience without a proper publisher (not to be confused with the pub administrator like Songtrust) for example Sony Publishing or Schubert Music Publishing or other “mainstream” agency nobody will take care of the correct reporting of the usage of your “globally registered” works.

I have registered a track on Songtrust (2 artists, + million views on streaming platforms).

At first everything was fine, the track was correctly registered, no problems, but if you look closely like in my example song is getting 99% of earnings only in 1 country, in country where the registration process is a bit more “backward” as it is for sure in every other part of this world (excluding USA).

Everything was fine in their system, the track has been registered completely but…

The song that allegedly was registered and collected royalties “globally” for half a year was not registered at all and did not seem to be registered, my country pro organization did not recognize my pub administrator (I would not know anything and nobody would do anything if I did not reported to zaiks, and then to songtrust and BMI (where I am mainly affiliated with territory exclude contract))

I reported the problem in February 2021, I registered the track on their website Nov 16 2020, it has not been solved until today.

The songtrust support deceived me at least 3 times, first saying that the song was not registered because of some special characters (which is not true and later they contradicted themselves), then despite the earlier assurance that they have an enthusiastic network of cooperation with many pro organizations globally, including Polish zaiks, it turned out that they do not have any and zaiks does not ACCEPT the registration of songs from songtrust (the funny part is that it what another person from the songtrust support replied to me, contradicting the previous one).

So I wrote to BMI if everything is ok with the registration, it turned out that they can’t even follow the public performance royalties of this track because it was registered incorrectly (They forced the registration without providing necessary metadata to track performance, I provided them Full names, affiliation and IPI codes, but they dont use it).

If you are the only authors of the song and it is a production, stock music and as in the beginning I wrote the main royalties that you get come from the reported cue sheet, songtrust “may” work for you

(If we take into account the own rules of calculating royalties, work registration of each of the p rights organizations, it gets even more interesting, especially when a delayed registration, which songtrust does not care about at all, will result in some of your royalties simply being lost and not receivable in a given country after some time, its getting serious when you (Songtrust) are only person who is responsible for registration process)

+Songtrust support does not exist, waiting time for a response 1 month minimum + dashboard interface says you whether the work was actually registered or not. Having a large catalog, I would consider putting myself in the hands of the publisher and not the administrator’s pub.

I would not trust them, until that day, after 3 support tickets, no one came back to me, and before that, everyone said something else and assured me that it was their fault and they would come back to me with a solution as soon as possible.

Still no response, in this time I got a proper publisher.

BTW I am just trying to come back to the topic of stock music and I was not here for 2-3 years it is possible that there are now other ways of tracking and reporting the use of songs by customers other than tunesat, content id and Soundmouse, so if someone would like me to update the topic I will be grateful :smiley:

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@nolyrics thank you for your detailed explanation.

Since there are so many artists and songs, it is probably impossible for Songtrust to follow everything. Especially since many songs registered are never used anywhere. My issue with Songtrust is that they are not really good for sync. I emailed them, and yes it took several weeks for a response, and they said for sync you need to contact them. I think they only want sync songs when someone is using them. If we all register our sync songs with them, it would be many thousands of extra songs not being used. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know if songs are being used, and where. It is a broken system that will never get fixed.

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Any conclusions so far? :slight_smile:

@RedOctopus Not really! I use them because they supposedly track 60 PROs internationally. I have gotten small royalties, however, I cannot compare them to directly going to BMI since I have been using Songtrust since my start and they have my whole catalogue. BMI should be collecting international too, but Songtrust claims they do it better. So, who knows!

I did ask about registration time, when I register with Songtrust it takes about 3 months to show up in BMI, and they said up to 9 months for full registration internationally. I think it is a bit shorter since some of my tracks took less time to show up. Again, I am not sure how long it would take for BMI to register?

What I am doing now, which was in my other post about ISRC, is creating my own ISRC numbers (it’s a one time fee of $95 if anyone is interested) and registering my sync music with Songtrust. I cannot put in the ISWC until BMI allocated that number.

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