Social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook & Instagram pay composition and master sound recording royalties when your music is used in videos.

So, how do you collect royalties and what is monetization? I’m still not 100% sure, but I’ll share what I know.

SOCAN-RR (composition royalties) stated that YouTube, Facebook and Instagram “must be monetized in order to collect composition royalties”.

“Music monetization is the process of identifying your music whenever it’s used in a video posted on social platforms and then collecting revenue generated from that usage.” (CD Baby).Check this article for more info:

It’s my understanding that monetization on YouTube requires that ads be placed on videos.Monetization options are discussed below.

If all this is true, then I’m disappointed that an artist is required to put ads on videos they upload in order to receive their composition/publishing royalties.

As well, CONNECT (master sound recording revenue) stated that CONNECT “doesn’t have anything to do with YouTube. Any (master sound recording) royalties from YouTube would be done directly with them”.

Your videos + ISRC codes

It is always beneficial to include the video’s ISRC code in the metadata of any videos that you upload to YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. I also include “ISRC:<value>” in the comments field.

CONNECT recommends that a “music video should have its own separate ISRC code” that is different from the ISRC code for the audio recording.

If you do not have your content monetized, then this *might* help composition royalties be collected.However, SOCAN-RR stated that videos need to be monetized in Canada to collect royalties.

This is an interesting article:

Here are some videos discussing ISRC codes on videos.


There are many options to monetize your videos all of which are free to join, but they take an admin fee.

Monetization of videos results in the following:

  • Sound recording revenue is paid to you via the company that does the monetization.
  • Composition/Publishing revenue is triggered to flow to the Performance Rights Organizations (PRO), who in turn pay you. In Canada, that’s SOCAN and (SOCAN-RR or CMRRA).

As well, there are two areas of areas to consider, both of which are typically monetized:

  1. Your content - that you upload to your channel. (Make sure you include your ISRC code)
  2. UGC: Content that others upload that contains your music (referred to as User-generated content). With monetization, you can see who is using your music and exercise your rights as owner.

For YouTube, you’ll need to ask yourself if you really want ads to be shown on ALL videos that contain your music. This could discourage fans from using it in creative ways to gain you exposure.

Another option with 3rd party monetization companies is that you *might* be able to choose to only monetize your more popular songs to cut down on ads. (need to verify)

Another perk of monetization is that when ISRC codes match up properly, YouTube may place “Buy this music on iTunes, Google Play and/or Amazon MP3” links right below videos that have your music in them.

Most monetization options require you to confirm that “You control 100% of the sound recording worldwide”. Controlling the sound recording is different from owning the master. The master can be owned by multiple parties, but 1 person or company can be given 100% control of the sound recording.

Here are some monetization options:

It’s important to note that you can only monetize your videos on a platform with 1 company. So, if you’re monetizing YouTube with your distributor (e.g. TuneCore), then you can’t also sign up with a 3rd party like AdRev. No double dipping.

1. YouTube Partner Program (1k subscribers):

With YouTube, if you have more than 1000 subscribers AND 4000 hours of video watch time within last 12 months, you can join (their partner program). Then you’re good and golden.

You will still need to find someone to monetize Facebook and instagram.

2. Your distributor:

Check with your distributor. Some that offer monetization, with their admin fee in brackets, include CD Baby (25%), DistroKid (20%) & TuneCore (20%). Indie Pool (10%) only offers monetization for Facebook & Instagram, but a 3rd party like Audiam complements them well (more below).

3. Third parties – AdRev, Audiam, Identifyy, etc:

There are a number of 3rd parties that can be used to monetize your music in videos.  They are completely free to join.

Popular options include AdRev, Audiam and Identifyy, but there are many others.

AdRev -

  • 20% Admin fee
  • Pick & choose their clients. I’ve heard they reject smaller ones.

Audiam -

Identifyy -

  • 30% admin fee. Minimum payout is $100. Paypal only.
  • Work with smaller clients
  • Will only do FB & Instagram monetization if you also sign up for YouTube.


Did you find this useful? Is something out of date or incorrect? Please let me know.

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