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Knowing Your Music Publishing

by Wyshmaster Beats

February 18, 2019

As a writer/producer/beat maker I have been writing & composing music for years and wished I knew what music publishing was early on in my career. Enjoy this article explaining some of the music publishing information you should know.

If you are already a songwriter, music artist, or even a producer, it is imperative to learn how to monetize your compositions and earn money through royalties. This means that you need to understand music publishing.

While music publishing is a complex concept and one of the least unspoken subjects, it is one of the most important parts of the whole music industry.
Shortly, it is all about how you make money from your music or song, as a separate segment of intellectual property. Understanding the basics can go a long way.

Music publishing is about your work, your money and copyrights. When anyone uses your music commercially (whether licensed, sold, or publicly performed on radio, TV, film, internet, commercials, games or even in live venues), as a songwriter and music artist you earn the royalties. You also earn a publishing royalty every time your music is purchased in various formats like CD, MP3, vinyl, etc.

Music publishing can produce good earnings for beat makers, songsmiths, and artists. If you have written a beautiful piece of song and have not given any rights to others, then YOU own it and all royalties collected for that song should be paid to you.

However, at times, music artists and writers don’t believe in themselves. They don’t have a good grasp on music publishing basics. Also, getting the required licenses, representing your piece to music supervisors, and collecting royalties’ takes a chunk of time as well as hard work and efforts. You can definitely go solo, but managing all the aspects of your music career may turn daunting and you might want to get some help. But you should not lose hope. This is where a music publisher comes in the picture.


Music publishers provide assistance in many ways so you earn from your songs. They dynamically search for ways to use your piece on your behalf. They can find out the deals and license them for getting it used in adverts, movies, TV, etc. This method is known as synchronization. They usually work on a commission basis and that is good for you.
Because they only receive money if you do. This system provides a music publisher with an incentive to generate maximum income from your piece. Their commission would depend on your contract with them and you can seek more information or legal advice while signing an agreement. The music publishers collect the income from uses and the issued licenses. They ensure you get your dues and stay protected.
Given below are the five most usual kinds of publishing royalties an artist can get:

  1. Mechanical royalties – you get a royalty every time your creation is sold, or reproduced with the purpose of being sold commercially.
  2. Performance royalties – you get a royalty whenever your creations are performed publically.
  3. Licenses for synchronization – Your piece of music and a picture are “synced” together in a movie or a soundtrack.
  4. Licenses for sampling – if someone samples your music, you will get paid based off what you agree upon.
  5. Print rights for sheet music – whenever your composition is reproduced in print form.

If you believe you have great lyrics, an amazing beat and/or an awesome composition, then nothing should stop you. If you are ready to make it big and earn all the royalties for the art you create, then get your fundamentals clear and find a good place such as I am here to guide you through your wonderful journey in music business. Have a look and find out how you can use us to represent yourself.