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What’s The Difference between a PRO and a Publishing Administrator?


I don’t need a publishing administrator because I’m already affiliated with ASCAP right? Don’t these two entities perform essentially the same function?

Actually, they perform very different functions, but work together to achieve the same simple goal; getting you paid.

But what does a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) actually do?

The main business of PROs is the collection and distribution of money for music that is publicly broadcasted or “performed”. The PROs collect licensing fees from radio stations, TV networks, gyms, airports, bars, live music venues, as well as digital sites such as Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, Rdio etc. for their use of music. Once these fees are collected, the PRO tracks and surveys all of the ASCAP or BMI licensed sources and pays the songwriters and publishers based on a percentage of performances for each song. This pool of money usually accounts for 30% of a songwriter’s annual income. To learn more about their tracking and payment system, click here.

How is that different to a publishing administrator? songtrust

Unlike a PRO, a publishing administrator does not track your songs and deal with a specific royalty type for a certain territory. They handle all business aspects of your songs globally. A publishing administrator will not only register your songs at your local PRO, but handle the registration of your songs at PRO’s around the world so that you are eligible to collect performance income wherever your songs are being heard. They will also make sure you are eligible to collect your mechanical royalties by affiliating you and registering your songs at mechanical societies worldwide. Up until now, a service like this was only offered to top tier songwriters with commercial releases; with Songtrust, independent songwriters are now able to collect additional songwriting royalties that they may be owed around the world.


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Music Publishing News Roundup: January 26th, 2015


Spirit Music Group has acquired the catalog of composer Henry Mancini for US administration. The catalog includes iconic songs such as “Moon River” from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s as well as themes to movies such as The Pink Panther and Charlies Angels. David Renzer, chairman at Spirit previously oversaw the catalog at Universal Music Publishing Group and plans to seek new opportunities for the catalog via synch in film and TV.

Universal Music Publishing Group has signed Nick Jonas to a global publishing deal. The deal covers his recent solo album, Nick Jonas which was released November 10, 2014 and includes his #1 single “Jealous”. UMPG will cover all creative and administration services for the catalog worldwide.

Casey Kelly has signed with SESAC for representation of her US public performances. The grammy-nominated songwriter has previously written songs recorded by artists such as George Straight, Kenny Rogers, and Tanya Tucker.

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Music Publishing News Roundup: January 16th, 2015


ASCAP has announced a new CEO, Elizabeth Matthews, former Executive Vice President and General Counsel. She has replaced John LoFrumento, who retired after 17 years as ASCAP CEO. Given her previous work at ASCAP, her pick was a unanimous choice between 12 writer and 12 publisher members. ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams says “her enthusiasm for taking on the new challenges of the digital era is unparalleled”. ASCAP currently stands as the 2nd largest US based Performing Rights Organization with over 520,000 writer and publisher members.

Downtown Music Publishing Group has signed film composer Atticus Ross. Most well known for his collaborations with Trent Reznor in the films Gone Girl and The Social Network, Atticus Ross joins Downtown’s roster of composers such as Hans Zimmer, Randy Newman, and Trevor Horn. With these recent signings, the NYC based independent music publisher is leading the way in the growing market while offering artist-friendly deals that take limited rights away from the composers.

SESAC has signed Anna Wilson for US representation. As a songwriter, Wilson has had her songs recorded by many top artists including Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Lee Ann Womack. Her most recent album Jazzbird/Songbird was released in late 2014 and debuted in the Top 10 of the Itunes Jazz Chart.

Spotify has announced 60 million active users and 15 million subscribers worldwide.

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5 Things You Can Do Today to Grow Your Songwriting Career


Submit your Songs into Songwriting Competitions:

Yes, there are scams out there, but don’t let that stop you. Many songwriting competitions can help your songs gain exposure to top music industry executives. They can also help you meet other writers which may lead to potential new collaboration opportunities. The International Songwriting Competition has a panel of judges ranging from Grammy-Winning artists and songwriters to CEOs of major record companies. We also recommend Song Of The Year, The U.S.A Songwriting Competition, and The Great American Song Contest.

Schedule a Co-Writing Session:

Working with others may sound daunting, but collaborating with other writers can sometimes be the best way to come up with fresh ideas you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Not only could your co-written songs end up better, but the more people you collaborate with, the more people will be actively playing and advocating for your songs. Don’t be scared to reach out to well established artists and songwriters about co-writing sessions – It never hurts to ask! Always remember that 1% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

Sign up for a Songwriting Seminar or Workshop:

The best musicians are always learning. Songwriting seminars and workshops are great places to learn new styles and techniques from established songwriters and artists. The prestigious Berklee College of Music offers a free online songwriting course once a year with professor Pat Pattison, who has previously taught artists like John Mayer and David Wilcox. The ASCAP EXPO is an annual 3 day conference with panels ranging from premier ASCAP writers to top music executives. BMI also offers several great Songwriting boot camp style workshops throughout the year.

Join a Writer’s Round or Open Mic Night:

Writer’s rounds are great places to network with other writers and try out your songs in front of a crowd. If you have stage fright, performing at these places can also give you invaluable experience playing in front of people. Artists like Michelle Branch and Ian Axel (of A Great Big World) started at New York Songwriters Circle, a monthly songwriter’s circle at The Bitter End in NYC. Open mic nights are everywhere and also great places to get exposure to new people.

Record a Cover Song and Upload it to YouTube:

Many of today’s most established songwriters and artists including Karmin and Justin Bieber, to name a few got discovered through their YouTube cover videos. This can be a great tool for attracting fans of a current song and directing them to your original music. Once your cover song is recorded, signing up with Loudr will allow you to sell and get paid for your cover song without worrying about any of the licensing business headaches.

Once your songs are out there in the world, they will quickly start generating revenue. At this stage in your career you want to collect any money that is available, small or large. Songtrust is a one stop shop for global royalty collection. Learn more here.

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Music Publishing News Roundup: January 9th, 2015


Sony has planned a possible sale of its music publishing division according to recently hacked Sony emails. The emails from Sony CFO, Kenichro Yoshida  commented on the instability of the busines with the the market shifting from digital sales to streaming. Sony/ATV, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and the Michael Jackson estate also has partial stake in EMI’s publishing catalog which has revenues of $115 million for Sony. Billboard reports that a sale to Universal Music Group or Warner Music Group is unlikely due to European Union regulators and a more likely sale would be to a private equity firm or major film studio.

Deezer has acquired AT&T’s Muve Music for less than $100 million according to a recent report from TechCrunch. This is the 2nd US acquisition for the French based music streaming service, it acquired the podcasting and talk radio network Stitcher in October 2014. With this deal in place, AT&T’s Cricket LTE customers are eligible to receive 45 free days of Deezer for free with the option to switch to a $6 per month subscription.

On – Demand Streaming Subscriptions account for only 3% of overall music spending according to a recent report from Nielsen Music. Live music sales holds 35% of the share following CD sales at 12%.


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