5 Best Cover Song Licensing Companies: A Complex Process Made Simple

5 Best Cover Song Licensing Companies: A Complex Process Made Simple

Written by Jaron Lewis

Trying to figure out how to get your cover songs licensed can be complicated and confusing. However, these days there are several companies which can help you make the endeavor simpler. 

It can be a complicated process to figure out exactly who owns the copyright for a cover song you have made. What makes it even more complicated is trying to ascertain how much needs to be paid to whom and how that payment needs to be paid. 

Royalty Payments

Taking care of royalty payments yourself is probably as easy as doing your taxes, which says something about the process. If you want to make your life way easier, as well as protect yourself from copyright claims or even worse, you need to team up with a cover song licensing company. It will make your life much easier.

Protecting yourself from copyright claims on songs you create covers for is important. The last thing you want to deal with is a lawsuit just because you covered a song. Before you release your cover song out into the world, you need to make sure you have the proper licensing for it. 

5 Best Cover Song Licensing Companies: A Complex Process Made Simple

Mechanical Licenses Demystified

A term you will undoubtedly need to understand is what a "mechanical license" is. This type of license allows you to reproduce and digitally distribute copyrighted songs in the form of a digital download. Since most music these days is digital, this could help you reach a massive market for your cover songs.

You will need this license if you cover any song that was written and recorded by another artist. It does not matter how original or different you make your cover song. Someone else has the rights to it and must receive royalties. When you obtain a mechanical license for covers, you make sure that the original artist gets a little back for their work.

Cover Song Licensing Companies

There are several cover song licensing companies you can choose from to license your cover songs. Most of these companies offer a very similar deal and service, with only slight variations. It will be largely up to preference regarding which companies you decide to go with. To make sure you team up with the best ones, we made this list. Here are the companies offering license cover song opportunities.

1. Tunecore

With Tunecore cover songs are licensed without any hassle. You have the option of choosing either a standard or limited license, based on what your needs are. A mechanical license for cover song renditions can be done in just a few minutes, making you completely ready in a few days. You also receive the benefit of having your license tracked so that everyone gets what they deserve with each sale. Your license will never expire, which can help you continue bringing in money for a long time to come.

We don’t just say these things because we’re partnered with them. We say them because Tunecore is the best there is!

2. SoundDrop

With Soundrop, you can have your cover songs licensed and distributed forever. They will also become widely available on many other platforms. This helps your cover songs reach more people. If you want to properly license your cover songs, Soundrop is a great platform to distribute them through. Mechanical payments will be paid to the original artists automatically. What's more is that you can split the revenue your cover songs generate with any other collaborators at no additional charge.

3. Easy Song Licensing

With Easy Song Licensing, you get to keep 100% of the rights you need to release your cover songs. It just takes 1-2 business days to take care of all the paperwork. You get to have a real person be your point of contact, helping you every step of the way. You will also receive the proof of licensing to ensure everything is done legitimately. Easy Song Licensing makes contacting all of the copyright holders of the original songs easy and effortless.

4.  DistroKid

With DistroKid, you can get 7% off by clicking on our affiliate link here. You can upload your cover songs and have royalties paid out to the original copyright holders. You can upload a cover song of almost any type of song. Some examples of what you can upload a cover of are:

  1. Songs that were released on a digital music distribution platform such as iTunes or Amazon MP3
  2. Songs that were released on vinyl and sold in stores
  3. Songs that were promotional and available as digital downloads on the websites of the music artists that created them

There are a few types of songs which you will be unable to get licensed if you create cover versions of them. These are the following:

  1. Songs which have appeared in film scores and nowhere else outside of the film's soundtrack
  2. Songs which have appeared in video games but have never been released outside of the game's soundtrack
  3. Songs which were released in a CD compilation outside of the US
  4. Songs which are old enough to be in the public domain

5. Songfile

With Songfile, you can license cover songs quickly and easily. If an original song has been released in either a physical or digital format, you can make sure that the original music artists and publishers are fairly paid. Mechanical licensing allows you to license copyrighted music. Songfile makes it easy to get the copyright holders of the songs you cover get paid. You can get mechanical licenses for up to 2,500 units of physical copies of music, along with permanent digital downloads created and distributed within the US. You will get your license within 24 hours of initiating your request.

Wrapping Up

Cover song licensing companies have turned an otherwise complex process into something automated and simple. There is no hassle with getting royalties to the original artists of a song you covered. Mechanical licenses have made it easy to distribute and reproduce copyrighted songs as digital downloads. These 5 licensing companies are great choices for your cover songs if you want to make sure you do everything by the book and avoid any potential problems. 


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