Music Publishing Basics (1)

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The Music Telegraph
Text 2019-01-14

▲ Music Publishing Global Market Share

© Round Hill


Music Publishing Basics (1)



Music publishing

Occurs when it is displayed, performed and it becomes available to the pubic through sale, lease, rental, or some other distribution method, even if offered free of charge.




Co-publishing (Split Copyright)

This occurs when two or more people or companies, sharing equity, representation, licensing powers and income from a writer’s music. The writer is usually one of the two co-publishers and has a large global publisher as a co-publishing partner. This type joint venture usually lasts for 3 years, possibly even up to 5 years. Just like two equal agents, either can take enquires for the commercial use of the music selection (or catalog) jointly represented.




Administrative Publishing

A large and established global publisher will often prefer to have total agency representation, licensing rights, and the right to collect your publishing income (along with their own), worldwide. In return for such exclusivity, the big publisher will provide this service for a low income percentage, quite possibly only 5% to 8%. As well as practically running the entirety of your publishing business, they will also be your collection service. Your company will become an associate and will be co-endorsed with their name. For example: “Your name/MCA Music”




Other things Music Publishers will do

- Market and promote the works of composers, songwriters and lyricists


- Function like an agent and pitch for opportunities to involve their clients via their network of outlets and contacts:

1)Film and TV companies

2)Record labels

3)Record producers

4)Film and TV directors

5)Artists and artists’ personal managers


- Purchase smaller publishing companies (acquisition)

- Purchase the entire collections (catalogues) of significant writers’ works (catalogue purchase)




Affiliate Publishing Division (Publishing Affiliate)

Almost all record labels, except for the tiniest of indies, have a publishing division. These divisions of the 6 global majors are so large as to be incorporated separately. They are known as the affiliate publishing division or the publishing affiliate.



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