Become A Member

Benefits of membership:

  1. Complimentary access to RIAA’s U.S. recording industry revenue database, which includes total year-end shipment and revenue statistics for the recorded music industry in the United States going back to 1973. There users can view, compare, and export historical year-end U.S. revenue statistics. 
  2. Discounted rates on Gold & Platinum Program certifications. The charge for individual certifications is $350 for RIAA member companies, while non-members are charged $450 per certification, which must be pre-paid.
  3. Inclusion in riaa.com’s listing of member companies.
  4. Utilizing a variety of tactics and tools, our anti-piracy staff works tirelessly to protect the copyrights of our member labels.  For example, our expert online piracy teams constantly monitors the illegal trading of copyrighted songs on the Internet and send tens of millions of “takedown notices” for unauthorized songs, to the illegal sites and services themselves, and to search engines, ISPs, and a variety of other online intermediaries.  


Requirements - To become an RIAA member company, your label must:

•    Be a U.S. based record label/company.
•    Distribute recordings of performances to U.S. consumers under your label for home use.
•    Have not been engaged in the piracy of sound recordings during the last five years.

*If your company is distributed through a major record label (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, or Warner Music Group), you are already a member.

FAQ:

•    What are the benefits of becoming a member? 

  1. Complimentary access to RIAA’s U.S. recording industry revenue database, which includes total year-end shipment and revenue statistics for the recorded music industry in the United States going back to 1973. There users can view, compare, and export historical year-end U.S. revenue statistics. 
  2. Discounted rates on Gold & Platinum Program certifications. The charge for individual certifications is $350 for RIAA member companies, while non-members are charged $450 per certification, which must be pre-paid.
  3. Inclusion in riaa.com’s listing of member companies.
  4. Utilizing a variety of tactics and tools, our anti-piracy staff works tirelessly to protect the copyrights of our member labels.  For example, our expert online piracy teams constantly monitors the illegal trading of copyrighted songs on the Internet and send tens of millions of “takedown notices” for unauthorized songs, to the illegal sites and services themselves, and to search engines, ISPs, and a variety of other online intermediaries. 


•    Who can become a member of the RIAA?

  1. Be a U.S. based record label/company.
  2. Distribute recordings of performances to U.S. consumers under your label for home use.
  3. Have not been engaged in the piracy of sound recordings during the last five years.

*If your company is distributed through a major record label (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, or Warner Music Group), you are already a member.


•    How do I become a member?

If you meet the requirements, please complete an application form, pay the $100 application fee, and submit two samples of your recordings.  We will then review your application to confirm you meet the requirements. If approved, your application fee will be credited towards your dues.


    If my music is being distributed by a member of the RIAA, do I need to apply for membership?

No.  If you are distributed through a major record label (Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, or Warner Music Group), you are already a member.


•    Does the RIAA pay royalties?

No.  SoundExchange was established as an unincorporated division of the RIAA in 2000 to pay royalties to artists and record labels for certain digital performances in the United States (webcasting, satellite radio, etc.). In 2003 SoundExchange became an independent performance rights organization.  In 2013 the group celebrated its 10 year anniversary and nearly $2 billion paid to musicians and labels. See http://www.soundexchange.com/ to learn more and become a member.

AARC was also established by the RIAA to pay home-taping royalties to artists and record companies. In1993, it became an independent organization. See http://wp.aarcroyalties.com/ to learn more and become a member.

ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC pay royalties to songwriters and publishers for certain performances in the United States. See their websites for more details.


•    Do I need to be a member to use the Parental Advisory Label on my album?

No.  Any record label or artist that complies with the Parental Advisory Label Program and its Standards can apply for a license to use the Parental Advisory Label. See http://www.riaa.com/toolsforparents.php?content_selector=parental_advisory for more details.


•    Will the RIAA give approval for use of the FBI Seal on my album?

We no longer administer the FBI Seal. Simply follow their new guidelines as listed here: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/white_collar/ipr/anti-piracy for more details.


•    What does it cost to join the RIAA?

There is an application fee of $100. If you are approved, your application fee will be credited towards your dues.


•    How are my membership dues calculated?

RIAA will take the revenue data provided by the applicant on the Revenue Declaration form, determine which member category the applicant falls under on the Dues Schedule, and charge the amount indicated.


•    How long will the application process take?

It may take several days to several weeks, depending upon when the application materials and fee are submitted.

•    Does the RIAA offer legal advice/help for my issues?

The RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies.  RIAA does not generally provide individual legal advice.