Big buzz doesn’t make the money. One-hit wonders proved that.
You want to know why most one-hit wonders are one-hit wonders?
Paperwork wasn’t done correctly.
Everybody was blowing and going, man, thinking the money would just somehow magically disperse itself into the right pockets in the right proportions. Hahahaha. Not. Who gets what and in what proportion must be documented. One-hit wonders usually weren’t.
So, if you get the big buzz, you better have a solid business plan that comes after it. Big buzz is something to build on, it is not the money maker itself.
Specialization is the music business will make you go broke all day long. Diversify your offerings.
SESAC, BMI, ASCAP, and SoundExchange are necessary in order to collect royalties. It is a complicated explanation that I won’t go into here other than to say this: If you want to collect money from radio airplay and internet radio shows (not streaming services), you must let them know where to send the money.
You will also want to be registered as both a publisher and a writer. Here’s the breakdown of that. A writer is a person and is a creator and owns a piece of the song. A publisher can be a person running as a business, or an entity (such as a company.)
Publishers also own a piece of the song and usually the master rights to certain recordings; this is where the ISRC code comes in. The publisher is the one who has the rights to shop and license a song. They usually liaison with the writer. But if you are both, then the deal is easier done.
A publisher also makes sure the song is cleared for licensing. That’s another subject that will take too long. But, suffice it to say, if you want your songs to be placed with another artist or used in movies, films, and advertising, you must make sure the rights are straight.
Furthermore, independent or with a label, you will join the PROs (performing rights organizations). You can only join one as a writer, but all three as a publisher. They have their rules and regs, though.