After you record your music, most likely the next thing you want to do is sell it. First, I recommend copyrighting it, but as soon as that’s done you’ll need to distribute it. There’s a few companies that do this for indie artists, I use CD Baby. CD Baby is easy, no hassle and they do get your music out there to just about anywhere that streams music or sells MP3’s.
It used to be CD Baby would only handle your original material. I don’t know, but I would assume they’d let you include really old, royalty-free standards like Oh, Dem Golden Slippers or something too. Recently, I’ve found that they have a new service for marketing your cover songs. For a fee of course, they take care of the licencing, royalties, etc., relieving you of all the hassle. To do it, the’re working Loudr, a music rights company.
“Loudr’s new licensing platform easily enables users to purchase a mechanical license, the license needed to legally release a cover song across a broad spectrum of media, from physical releases to digital downloads to ringtones to interactive streams, for a flat service fee of $15 plus the cost of mechanical royalties.” – DIY Musician
This is cool, because almost everyone performs cover songs– now you can get paid for it and include covers on your albums, or release as online singles.
I don’t know how all this will effect me, most of what I would want to do cover-wise would be to record updated versions of royalty-free classical stuff, ala ELP or Trans Siberian Orchestra. Most likely, I would do Fanfare for the Common Man, by Aaron Copland, as I think that one is still copyrighted. I might also do Hallelujah by the late, great Leonard Cohen. 99% of my recordings will likely be originals for the foreseeable future, but it’s nice to know that covers are available to me also without all the legal hassle. Who knows, maybe someone will want to do a cover of one of my songs! Now you can.