BandCamp or SoundCloud Cover Songs
Soundcloud and Bandcamp are HUGE platforms for artists to post covers of their favorite songs. And we’re guessing you wound up here because you’re wanting to post a cover song on one of those sites.
“I can post covers of songs I didn’t write on these sites, right?”
So, there are two parts to any song that is released. There’s the sound recording (sometimes referred to as the master recording) and the musical composition (sometimes referred to as the song, or work).
When you cover a song, you own the sound recording (your recorded version of that song), but the musical composition (the song’s melody, structure, and lyrics) still belong to the original songwriter. In order for you to release your sound recording, you’ll need to obtain a license from the owner of the musical composition.
Say you record a version of “Photograph” by Nickelback on the cello. That recording of you playing it on your cello is the sound recording, and it belongs to you. But the song “Photograph” is the musical composition written by Kroeger, and the composition still belongs to him.
“So I get that I need a license. What kind of license do I need?”
Releasing a cover song requires what is known as a mechanical license. A mechanical license gives you the right to distribute your own rendition of musical compositions that have been copyrighted. With a mechanical license, you can distribute your version of a copyrighted work on CDs, vinyl, cassette, digital downloads, and streaming websites. So before you distribute your cover of that hot cello-driven Nickelback cover, you want to get a mechanical license first.
To learn more about mechanical licensing, you can visit our FAQ page.
Any third party that you go through to distribute your music digitally or manufacture your albums physically will ask you for proof that you’ve obtained a mechanical license for any cover songs you submit. Affordable Song Licensing can help you obtain those mechanical licenses and provide you with a Licensing Certificate showing that those licenses have been obtained on your behalf.
“So how much does it cost to post my covers on streaming sites?”
When you post your cover songs to Spotify and other large streaming platforms that require you to use a third party distributer (aggregator), most of them payout mechanical royalties to HFA or Music Reports Inc. If you are looking to post your cover songs to Soundcloud or Bandcamp, these sites do NOT pay out mechanical royalties, so the copyright owners of the songs you’re performing don’t receive royalties for your version unless you pay them. That’s where we come in.
We charge $0.01/stream just like the other third parties online that offer mechanical licensing. So if you expect to get 1000 streams of your cover on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, then you would owe/pay $12 in royalties. We charge a $12 fee per song, which is the most affordable option online. Other sites will charge $11.99+ per song, so since you’re already here, let’s get those songs licensed so you can post them on Bandcamp and Soundcloud!
- Sign up for an Affordable Song Licensing account and enter your song information
- Be sure to select the Bandcamp option for “licensing format” when submitting your project
- Your license will be in your inbox within the next 24-48 hours!