So you’ve written a song. Now what? Well, by writing a song you’ve created a piece of intellectual property which you own. Copyright is there to protect the value of this property, allowing you to generate income from its usage. Music publishing is the business of protecting and administering the copyright in your song and maximizing its value. Generally, a music publishing company will take a share of the income from your song in return for the administrative and creative work they do for you. Working with a good publisher can save you time and money and plug you into a wider and more efficient network of opportunities to generate income in comparison with self-administering your songs as a performing rights organization (PRO) member only. We’ve asked Ross Adamson, Senior Catalogue Manager at CONNECT Songs' global publishing administration partner Sentric Music for 5 points you should consider when looking to work with a publisher:
Fair Deal Terms
Are the basic terms of the publishing agreement fair and in-line with what you need for the point you’re at in your music career? Is the publisher offering money (an advance) upfront? The prospect of cash now is always tempting but does the amount being offered seem fair in comparison with the length (the term) of the agreement? If no money is offered as part of the deal then the term should be extremely short – ideally less than 6 months and certainly no longer than a year under normal circumstances. (For example – the CONNECT Songs agreements offer no advance as standard and so the term is an extremely short and very fair 45 days).
What splits are being offered? Traditionally publishing splits were 50/50 but, again, this should be in line with any advance and the term. For big money investment from a publisher, you might be willing to have an initial 50/50 split on royalties with them but what about after they’ve recouped the advance? Does the rate increase in your favour? For a deal with no advance, alongside a short term you should also expect a fair royalty split – probably no less than 75/25 in your favour. (Again, using CONNECT Songs as an example – the performance and mechanical royalty split is 80/20 in favour of the songwriter).
Now that you know what a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) is and that they’re an integral part of the music industry and in getting public performances licensed, tracked and then royalties paid to songwriters, SESAC Creative Services Manager, Diana Akin Scarfo shares her top tips for how to get started with a PRO.
Are you playing your original songs/music live or are they getting played on the radio? Was your song placed in a TV show, film or commercial that is being played on TV? Did you know that songwriters get paid for these types of public performances? PROs (Performing Rights Organizations) are an integral part of the music industry and in getting these types of public performances licensed, tracked and then royalties paid to songwriters. The administration and business side of your song catalog is as important as you creating it - read on to learn the ins and outs of how this works from SESAC Creative Services Manager, Diana Akin Scarfo.
What is a Performing Rights Organization (PRO)? If you’re a songwriter, you have the right to be paid royalties any time your song is performed publicly. A PRO, also known as a Performing Rights Organization, tracks and licenses a songwriter’s music and pays the songwriter and music publisher public performance royalties (it is very common for the songwriter to act as the music publisher until a publishing deal/agreement is entered into). Public performance royalties are when your song is performed on radio (terrestrial, satellite, and internet), TV (TV Shows, films played TV, commercials), live performances (i.e. bars, music venues, festivals, etc.), and digital streaming services (i.e. Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music, Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody, etc.).
Our sync partner Hitcher Music recently secured a placement for LA rockers ACIDICon TNT’s “Animal Kingdom.”Tune in on Tuesday, August 2nd to listen to their track “My Town” on the show and get a preview by listening to the track below!
Ever dreamed of hearing your song on your favorite TV show or movie? How awesome would it be if your song was used in a commercial? Not only would it give you more exposure, but you could potentially earn MONEY! How does one do this? Sync Licensing. We sat down with Patrick Cloherty, Senior Catalogue Manager of Sentric Music, to get a better understanding of all things sync. Read on to get the 411 on sync licensing, fees, knowing your rights, and what you can do to increase your chances of landing a placement.
What is sync licensing? Synchronisation is licensing a piece of recorded music to visuals, be that an advertisement, movie, TV show, online video or video game. In order for a client to license a piece of music they must clear two copyrights which are the publishing and masters. For the clearance of these two copyrights a client will traditionally pay an upfront fee to clear both, but certain territories and media work differently.
CONNECT Songs landed a placement on UK show Hollyoaks for ReverbNation CONNECT one-man act Low Volts. His rambunctious single “I Cried My Guts Out” aired July 27th. Listen to the track below and get to know Low Volts during his Road to Sturgis.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have your music on TV? That recently happened for ReverbNation band The Eiffels! The LA-based indie-pop trio landed a placement on UK reality show The Only Way Is Essex through CONNECT Songs. Check out the clip below to hear their infectious song “City All Night” and learn more about CONNECT Songs here.