As a musician in the music industry, you already come with a passion for your art. It’s what drives you. However, making a buck or two (or three…or four), doesn’t hurt either. One of the most commonly asked questions for any musician is: what is music publishing?
Top 5 functions of a music publisher
- Acquisition: Get some songs. If you’re already a songwriter, this will not prove too challenging for you. But for most large music publishing companies, the battle to acquire new and valuable copyrights (music) is a highly competitive and expensive game.
- Exploitation: Exploitation means selling and marketing your songs. Once you got ‘em, you gotta do something with ‘em. The exploitation function drives the entire business. Until someone gets a song on a popular playlist, record, in a movie, or an advertisement… nothing happens. For that reason, you should devote much of your attention toward learning how to exploit your music…
- Administration: Ah, paperwork. This means collecting split letters; registering the song with mechanical and performing rights societies and the Copyright Office, and issuing licenses to those who want to use your music.
- Collection: With income flowing from record companies, performance societies, foreign sub publishers, and film and television companies, someone has to collect the money and distribute it to the writers. Collection is all about paying and getting paid.
- Protection: If songs are what you own, you’d better take care of them. Whether it’s from sampling, illegal downloading, or outright theft, songs need protection.
i’m starting to understand…
Music publishing is always a partnership between the publisher and the songwriter. The publisher acquires the copyrights, grants licenses, and collects the money, and the songwriter creates the songs and is their original owner. A publisher is a middleman, delivering the songs from the writer to the larger media businesses that sell or use music.
In this day and age, many independent artists act as their own publisher. So whether or not you sign a publishing deal with a music publishing company, or forge your own path, now you have a better understanding of what music publishing is.
I need more info!
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