Understanding Music Publishing Deals

 In Music Publishing, Producer

Music publishing deals…

What are those?

As a music producer, you just want to make music and get PAID!

I get it, but you should have some knowledge about music publishing deals.

Truth be told…

If your songs aren’t published or properly registered, you won’t collect any money from your songs!

What Exactly Is Music Publishing? 

Before we proceed, you should have a clear understanding of what music publishing is.

Music publishing is simply the publishing of your music. It is also how creatives can earn the bulk of their income.

You can go ahead and document a song through recording or writing. Then you will be able to become the copyright owner of that song.

Along with copyright ownership, you have all the freedom to reproduce, distribute, and perform the song.

You can even sample the master recording with copyrights that you have.

For more about copyrights, click here.

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How Can You Earn Money With Music Publishing? 

Now let’s focus on the most important question…

How can you earn money with music publishing?

You can receive royalties for your music domestically as well as internationally.

In order to start collecting money, you have to be an affiliate of a PRO (Performing Rights Organization).

Performing Rights Organizations collects money for tv, film & radio. The 3 main companies are ASCAP, SeSAC, & BMI.

Learn more about PROs here.

Understanding Music Publishing Deals 

Music publishing deals are administered and structured according to a few unique terms.

Let’s look at a few pub deals below:

• Administrative publishing 

Administrative publishing is where the creator or writer of the song keeps full ownership of the song that is composed.

They will have to pay an administration fee to the publishing company, so that day to day operations on collecting revenue through recording takes place.

When you go ahead with this kind of deal, you will be able to receive added flexibility.

In fact, both publishers and writers can receive added flexibility.

There can be specific restrictions on what the administrator cannot do without obtaining approval from the writer.

The time duration associated with these hire agreements is relatively short. 

You should also get a better understanding of the administrative licensing deals.

The label is also responsible for distributing and marketing the masters.

In some of the instances, you will be able to find administrative deals that are known as “360 deals”.

When it comes to such deals, the label will be able to go ahead and collect revenue from many different income sources that the artist has.

These can include:

  • endorsements
  • publishing
  • touring
  • and sales as well.

Here, the label will be able to receive ownership of master records forever.

Co-publishing deal 

Now you should have a clear understanding of what an administrative publishing deal is.

Next, let’s look at co-publishing deals.

A co-publishing deal, is simply what the name implies. The music publisher & songwriter share will co-own the copyrights to the song.

Co-pub deals are more beneficial to the writers of the song because they will not only get 100% of their writer share, but also a percentage of the publishing share.

Full-publishing deal

Full-publishing deals are not common.

Here, the producer will own and retain 100% of the shares of the publisher that are assigned or created during a negotiated term. Also, the publisher will be able to retain ownership of all the songs.

When you go for a full publishing deal, you will have to pay a higher advance. You should also carefully go through the options before you sign a full-publishing deal.

Note: Before signing a publishing deal, consult with an entertainment lawyer to help you.

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