How can I release a cover song?

By Forward, January 11, 2022


There are several reasons why one might want to record and legally release a cover of a song. First, covering a well-known song, especially a current hit, is a great way to tap into an already attentive audience and introduce yourself to a wider fan base.

Not only that, but many music supervisors seek out cover songs for use in television or film.

Releasing a cover is tricky because you are neither the composer nor the lyricist of the song and therefore have no rights to the track. Fortunately, there are only a few things you need to keep in mind to publish your cover legally.

Make sure it is still a cover.

A cover is a recording of a previously released song that has kept the same composition (lyrics, melody, and song structure) as the original version.

If you start changing your cover too much, it might not be a cover anymore...

The cover song license does not extend to:


Stay true to the original composition and remain a cover. This will save you headaches when it comes to publishing.

Find the right mechanical license.

You need a mechanical license to distribute your cover.

Mechanical licenses ensure the legality of the distribution of your releases and that everyone who should get paid, gets paid.

But without help, licensing cover songs can be a big problem, as the conditions are often confusing and time-consuming.

There are many ways to get a mechanical license. So it is best to make it as simple and affordable as possible.

For example, Easy Song offers cover song licensing for very competitive prices.

Revenue sharing.

It is also important to know that the royalty fee (publishing royalties) is paid in full to the authors and composers of the original. However, the sales revenue (mastering rights) remains yours.

If you follow all these rules, now you just have to figure out which song suits you as an artist.

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