No, you do not need to own the sound recordings, yet you need to have full permission to distribute or sell any of them. Thus, if you have a master use license agreement for specific sound recordings and the owner of these recorded works has authorized to exploit them, then you can definitely seek our distribution services. Of course, if you ARE the owner of any masters, you can do so as well.
Cover songs are great! In fact, some of the most successful songs that we distribute, relevant to downloads and streams, are cover songs. Cover songs are an easy way to attract new audiences and to expand your fan base, demographics and psychographics. We will even handle all the third party composer/publishing payments for you.
SoundExchange is a non-profit performance rights organization that collects royalties on the behalf of sound recording copyright owners (e.g. record labels and recording artists) and also performing artists for all non-interactive digital transmissions, including satellite and Internet radio.
Prior to 1995, sound recording copyright owners in the United States did not have a performance right; that is, recording companies and performing artists were not entitled to receive payment for the public performance of their sound recordings. That soon changed. The Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act of 1995 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 together granted a performance right for sound recordings. As a result, copyright law now requires that users of music must pay the copyright owner of the sound recording for the public performance of that music via certain kinds of digital transmissions.