Reasons You Need Music Publishing Administration – What is music publishing? And how can it generate income from your music? If you’re writing and producing music, then you are creating a copyright that will potentially be generating income.
For anyone who makes music, music publishing is arguably one of the most important areas of the music industry, yet it’s often the least understood.
Every time your song is streamed, downloaded, broadcast, or played out in public, then it is generating royalties. And no matter what stage you are at in your career, you should be actively collecting this income, whether you are doing it yourself or via a music publisher.
Music publishing is the exploitation of a song’s composition copyright. The composition of a song is the lyrics and melody as written by one or more songwriters. Music publishing only relates to composition.
It is the business of promotion and monetization of musical compositions: music publishers ensure that songwriters receive royalties for their compositions, and also work to generate opportunities for those compositions to be performed and reproduced.
Why Music Publishing is Important for Every Artist
Oftentimes, when a producer is writing a song, they tend to record at the same time. Think about your process in Ableton, FL Studio, or other DAW: you write melodies, rhythms, and bass lines, arrange them into a track, then “record” and export that arrangement into a file.
Because of this process, you have created two separate copyrights. The first is the publishing copyright and this relates to the actual song — the melody, bassline, lyrics, and other key components we just discussed. This copyright is looked after by a music publisher to ensure you are paid all of the money you are owed.
The second is the recording or original file of that song, which is called the master copyright, and this is usually looked after by the record label.
For example, if artist A were to write and record a song, they have created both a publishing and master copyright. If artist B came along and decided to remix and record a version of artist A’s song, then artist B would have only created a master copyright.
In summary, music publishing is about the songwriter and the songs, not the recording.
How does publishing copyright generate money?
There are four main areas where your songs will generate money and we’ve outlined these by royalty types below.
Performance royalties are the income that is generated from songs when your music is played out to the public. Now, this can cover a number of things including streaming, broadcast on TV or radio, or being played live. The basic rule of thumb to remember is that the more people who hear it the more money it generates.
Mechanical royalties are the income that is generated from songs when your music is reproduced in any form, for example, this can cover being pressed onto CD or vinyl when your song is streamed or digitally purchased via a download from online stores such as iTunes.
Synchronization, or “sync” license fees, are income generated from songs when your music has been placed on TV, films, adverts, games, and more.
If a music artist is both songwriter and producer, then Neighbouring Rights can be collected from the performance of the recording when it is played in public.
How is Music Publishing income collected?
Around the world, there are PROs (performing rights organizations) whose primary focus is licensing music for use in clubs, at festivals, in stores, for retailers, and online in the territories they cover, then to ensure publishers, songwriters, and rights owners are paid for the use of their music.
As a songwriter, it is advised that you join your local PRO so you can register your songs and start to collect any income you are owed.
Each territory has a local PRO. For example, in the UK it’s PRS, Nigeria has MCSN, Germany has GEMA, France has SACEM, Australia has APRA, and so on. America is slightly different, as that country has three that compete with one another: BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC.
All PROs have reciprocal deals in place with one another, so if you’re a PRS member and one of your songs generates money in Germany, then GEMA should collect that money and give it to PRS (after taking a cut), who then pass it onto you as a writer (after taking another cut). Now, this is the theory, but in reality, this can take a long time, if it happens at all.
Because of how long it usually takes to return royalties, and the massive amount of data handled, working with a publisher who is a member of all these PROs and can register your copyrights with all of them is strongly recommended. This will also ensure your pay comes directly from your publisher to you.
1710Media has a direct collection network that spans over 100 territories, which means by signing up and registering your songs, you will get your publishing income faster and with less headache.
Reasons You Need Music Publishing Administration
Still not sure if we’re the right fit for the next phase of your career? Here are the top 10 reasons why Songtrust is an ideal publishing administrator, regardless of whether you’re a songwriter, producer, composer, manager, publisher, record label, or anyone else who writes songs.
Signing up for a music publishing administrator, like 1710Media, is a crucial step toward getting paid. Here’s why:
1. Collect Your Global Royalties
Step one is distribution, get those songs out there, but then what? Every songwriter or rights holder needs to be affiliated with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) or Collective Management Organization (CMO) in their territory. These societies help you collect your writers’ share royalties as well as the occasional publishers’ share. This accounts for half of your composition’s royalty pie.
Keep in mind that societies do not cover every potential global pay source, however, generally, it’s just what’s to collect within your territory. It’s not the easiest thing to do on your own, either; with more than 200 countries and territories around the world, affiliating and registering with every paid source is an enormous undertaking. Using a publishing administrator reduces this workload by only requiring you to register your song once.
2. Transparent Royalties
Most music publishing administrators value transparency. With 1710Media, you’ll also receive a detailed royalty report and direct deposit every quarter — more often than many publishers. If your publisher isn’t willing to be transparent, run the other way.
Traditional publishing deals take a percentage of your musical compositions (often 25-50%) in exchange for copyright administration services, marketing and promotion campaigns, and creative opportunities like sync licenses and songwriting sessions. They may also require a minimum number of songs and the constant maintenance of a certain sound and image — as determined by your publisher.
4. One-Time Fee
When registering with 1710Media, you pay a one-time fee per writer. This gives you access to our entire platform, global royalty collection across more than 245 territories, and the ability to register an unlimited number of songs through your account.
We can also affiliate you with the collection society of your choice at no additional cost if you’re not already set up with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) like ASCAP, MCSN, BMI, or IMRO. And contrary to many other administrators, we only take 10% of your publisher’s share — one of the lowest commission rates in the industry.
5. Global Reach
When we say global, we mean we cover 98% of the world’s music market for collection. 1710Media maintains direct relationships with more than 60 pay sources and collection societies in more than 100 territories around the world, giving us the greatest range of royalty collection coverage available to fiercely independent creators.
Whether you’re affiliated with a Nigerian CMO like MCSN or an international society like ASCAP, or APRA AMCOS, we collect publishing royalties on your behalf. Or maybe you’re a BMI songwriter touring in Germany? Not a problem; we can help submit your international setlists and collect your publishing royalties from GEMA.
6. More Than Your Collection Society
Every songwriter or rights holder needs to be affiliated with a PRO or Collective Management Organization (CMO) in their territory. These societies help rightsholders collect their writer’s share royalties as well as the occasional publisher’s share.
But local societies can’t cover every potential global pay source. We saw this discrepancy and decided songwriters needed a way to collect all of their royalties — performance, mechanical, and micro-sync — in one place. Because of this, we act as your publisher and collect all of your publishing royalties on your behalf so you can focus on what you do best: music.
Yes! As a Music Publishing Administrator, 1710Media administers your compositions by licensing, registering, and collecting royalties on behalf of your compositions, ensuring you are not leaving any money on the table.
If you sign up with us, we’ll handle all of the aspects of collection for your publishing, including:
- We manage all aspects of Registration, Licensing, and Royalty collection processes.
- Worldwide collection: We register your music directly with royalty collection organisations in Nigeria and over 100 other countries.
- Claim royalty back payments: You can claim royalties from as far back as 2 years ago in many cases.
- Register live performances: Earn royalties from your past and present live performances.
- Get royalties when your music is used in; Hotels, Clubs, Online, TV and Radio stations, Halls, Transport Facilities, and many others.
- Keep 90% of all royalties: We charge a 10% administration fee for all royalty types.
- You pay a one-time fee (per songwriter): We charge a one-time fee per songwriter. Not annual, not per-release, It’s just one time.