Frequently Asked Questions

Why Habitat?

A habitat is a home, but it’s also a space where different systems connect in order to form a greater whole. Habitat Financial is the music industries home for all systems related to its financial management. When you pool all this information in one place, you don’t just have a dashboard, or a program, but a habitat for your label, publishing firm, management company, or artist project.  

No, no, I mean why should I switch to Habitat?

Simply put, Habitat just does more, better. Unlike other royalty processing solutions—whether it’s another program, or manual entry in a spreadsheet—Habitat makes royalty processing fast, simple, transparent and free.  

Is Habitat really free?

Yes, Habitat’s royalty processer is free to use for labels. There are no hidden fees. In the future, we might charge a small fee for tax prep and contract signing.  

How do you make money then?

We make money on Habitats banking features. Artist and label banking accounts earn interest for us and merchants pay interchange fees to us every time a Habitat debit card is used. In the future, we plan to add more revenue earning products like lending and fractional sales of catalogues.  

What kinds of royalties do you process?

Habitat processes master and publishing royalties as well as merchandise revenue.  

Which distributors and publishers do you work with?

We process royalties from all conceivable sources. If you’re distributing with a company who we do not yet have an upload option for, shoot us an email with a sample statement and we will add that revenue source for you.

Can you make payments through Habitat’s platform?

Yes, you can make payments directly on Habitat’s platform with the click of one button. No longer do you need to log into PayPal or you bank account to make payments manually.  

What payment methods can we use?

You can pay your artists through ACH bank transfer, PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, or using our manual payment method (handy if you’re paying cash, check, or crypto).

Can artists view their info?

Yes. Habitat’s artist portal provides artists with the most transparent way to view their statements. Artists can view topline highlights, or dive deep into the details of their reports. Labels no longer need to worry about sending paper or PDF reports, since artists can log in and view reports, contracts, and more all on their own time.

What information do artists have access to?

By default, artists have read-only access to all information corresponding with their shares of their releases. That means artists can view gross earnings, net earnings, expenses, deal terms, contracts, payments, and more. Some labels have payees for whom they wish to limit certain information. For example—when a producer receives a royalty share, but is not part of the artists deal with the label, the label may wish to limit access to expense details. Contact the Habitat team to configure custom reporting rules for your organization.  

I’m an artist manager, can I use Habitat?

Yes. You can use Habitat as an artist account, to manage the finances of a single artist, as a label account to manage the finances of your entire management group, or as a blend of both.  

I’m a music publisher, can I use Habitat?

Yes. Habitat tracks publishing royalties and makes payments based on the deals you have with the artists you publish.  

I’m an artist, can I use Habitat?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Habitat offers tools aimed specifically at artists. Now, you can track the revenue you earn across all your sources. Combine earnings from Distrokid, CD Baby, your label deal, your sync house, and whatever else in order to gain a full picture of how you’re making money. Plan budgets for your releases and pay your collaborators.  

Can I switch between two different artist accounts?

Yes, Habitat has an account switch tool. Switch between any account whose team you’re apart of.  

Can I invite other people to view my earnings?

Yes, invite your manager, bandmates, etc. Using Habitat’s team function  

Does Habitat track merchandise revenue?

Yes, we track merchandise revenue from a variety of sources. If you don’t see the revenue stream already listed, reach out to support with a sample statement and we will add it within 48 hours.  

Does Habitat do distribution?

No. There are dozens of companies who do great distribution work. We are not one of them, nor will we ever be. We are however, happy to make recommendations based on your specific needs. Reach out to our team of experts!

How does onboarding work?

Habitat makes onboarding simple. We do it for you. To get started, all we need are your outstanding balances, expenses, deal terms, statements from your revenue sources, and your payee information. Sign up today and schedule a call with one of our onboarding experts for more information.  

How long does onboarding take?

It depends on how large your catalogue is and how diligent you’ve been with bookkeeping in the past. Our average onboarding time 17 hours over the course of a week.  

How do I onboard my artists?

After your label/publisher/manager account is set up, we will add your payee emails and Habitat will automatically invite your artists and other payees. We recommend you also send an all-label email explaining the switch and highlighting the benefits of Habitat for artists.  

What else does Habitat do?

We process taxes, manage contracts, and can help you budget for releases and manage your agreements with our release budgeting tool and rights dashboard. If you have feature ideas, reach out! If you need it, it’s almost guaranteed that another one of our labels does as well.  

Do you process taxes outside of the US?

Not yet.  

What does Habitat do with my data?

Please see our privacy policy for a detailed accounting of how Habitat uses your data. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering if we sell your data to advertisers or if your email is going to find its way onto a list of “record labels to submit music to." The answer to that question is no, we will never sell your data to advertisers or other nefarious entities.