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Split Sheets: Collect Your Music Publishing Royalties


Musicians, producers, artists, songwriters, composers, and everyone in between have the opportunity to own publishing rights to their songs and collect royalties. Here is a quick and easy way to make sure that you get your share of the music publishing rights to the music you help create:

First, click here to see a Split Sheet Template.

A split sheet establishes in writing who owns what percentage of the composition, or the publishing rights. (The ownership of the recording is a different matter.) Publishing splits can be negotiated as a cowriter, producer, band member, etc. Click the link above to see what a split sheet looks like. You can even download this template and use it for yourself. Note that if you are the only writer, you automatically own 100% of the copyright.

Deciding on who gets what percentage of a song is completely negotiated between writers.  Sometimes co-writers will splits works evenly regardless of who wrote which part(s) of the song. Other times they’ll assign percentages based on each individual’s contribution to the final product.  Either way, it’s best to decide on splits and get them in writing as soon as you’ve finished a song, as negotiations may get messy the longer you wait.

As a song is released and used around the world you, the owner of your copyright(s), are due publishing royalties. Having a percentage of publishing ownership can be a great source of recurring revenue.

Note that if you include a sample of someone else’s composition in your work, it is expected that you clear those samples with those who own that recording and/or composition. You can offer that person or organization a percentage of the publishing, negotiate a fee, or simply acquire permission to use that sample.

Once you’ve decided on songsplits and you plan on releasing your music, go ahead and register your publishing splits with a publishing administrator like Songtrust to get set up to collect music publishing royalties.

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What is Songtrust?

There are a lot of music-tech companies out there. It can be a struggle to sort through them all. We at Songtrust want to help you make the right decision about your business. Below, we have outlined each type of partnership that Songtrust fulfills. If you fit one of these categories, please reach out here.

Context:

If your business or a client you represent writes music or owns music publishing rights, then your business is due music publishing royalties. It used to be complicated to collect these royalties. Songtrust has made it simple by offering flexible and accessible global publishing administration.

Service:

Songtrust is a 1-stop platform for collecting global music publishing royalties. If you use Songtrust, you won’t need to go anywhere else to collect your music publishing royalties. We register your catalog(s) with 42+ societies and have the capability to collect as directly as possible (avoiding sub-publishing fees) from over 200 countries/territories. This covers 95% of the music publishing market.

Clients/Partners:

Individual Songwriters

Individual Songwriters use songtrust to register and collect on their songs. They upload their titles and percentages and receive quarterly payments from Songtrust once their songs are registered. Songtrust collects on behalf of over 100,000 individual songwriters. This number is growing at a fast pace. All clients maintain full ownership of their catalog.

Producers

Producers often negotiate publishing splits when their music is released. Whether they own 1%, or 50%, Songtrust can register producers’ split percentages and collect what they are due. Need help getting your publishing split? Check out our split sheet template.  

Artists

Artists who write music are also songwriters! That means that artists own the publishing and should be collecting music publishing royalties. Songtrust works with a wide variety of artists to make their music publishing easy and accessible.

Bands

Bands use Songtrust to register their songs with the correct split percentages. They also use Songtrust’s live setlist submission tool when they are on tour. It is often overlooked that live performances can accrue live performance royalties, but only if you register your setlists. Agreeing on songsplits? Check out our split sheet template.  

Labels

Labels who also represent publishing rights (360 deals or otherwise) use Songtrust to power their publishing collection. Labels can play a bigger role in finding creative uses for their music without worrying about the administrative aspects of publishing.

Managers

Managers use Songtrust to collect royalties in a flexible deal while they search for future (and bigger) opportunities for their writers/artists. Shopping around for traditional deals can take upwards of 2-5 years.


Lawyers

Lawyers work with Songtrust to refer clients in need of publishing administration. They see a variety of contexts in which their clients need a service like Songtrust. Some lawyers own and operate their clients’ Songtrust account as part of their agreement with their clients.

Publishing Companies

Music Publishers use Songtrust to power their catalog administration. They save time and money by outsourcing all of the boring administrative work, and focus on the fun stuff like creative services and catalog development. Here is a blog post outlining why Songtrust is an easy and cost-effective solution to publishing administration.

Media Companies

Media and Production companies work with their writers to set publishing administration with Songtrust. Songtrust can administer and collect for productions that air all over the world.

Rights Owners

Whether you wrote music, purchased a catalog, inherited an estate with publishing rights, or operate a new-age music-tech business that has the opportunity to own publishing rights, Songtrust can administer and collect on your business’ behalf.

Distributors

Songtrust integrates with music distributors, enabling them to offer ‘opt-in’ publishing administration to their clients. Offering publishing administration at this step in the creators’ process has proven to be essential for many people who are releasing music. It is a huge ‘value-add’ for companies who offer suites of services to their clients. We have seen success in offering opt-in worldwide publishing administration to those who are about to release music–global distribution should almost always be complemented by global publishing administration.

Conclusion:

Songtrust is a simple and cost-effective solution to any person or business handling publishing rights. Every deal should be mutually beneficial to all interested parties. If you are unsure that your business approach fits with the Songtrust model, let’s talk. If you are ready to get started, sign up here and send us a message in the chatbox on your account!

 

We hope to hear from you soon.

 

-The Songtrust Team

 

Frequently Asked Follow-Up Questions:

 

Does Songtrust do YouTube collection?

Yes. Here is a link to our YouTube 1-sheet.

Does Songtrust collect mechanical and performance royalties?

Yes. Songtrust covers all types of publishing royalty collection.

Can Songtrust collect retroactive royalties?

We have seen success in collecting retroactive royalties. (no promises, though)

Do I have to do anything with ASCAP/BMI anymore?

Songtrust registers your catalog with ASCAP/BMI and 40+ other societies. You will only need to use the Songtrust platform to handle all of your needs.

Does Songtrust overlap with SoundExchange?

No, that is related to the master/recording side. Go register with SoundExchange.

Does Songtrust do anything besides collection, like promotion, creative services, distribution, etc?

No, Songtrust specializes in music publishing royalty collection. However, we do offer processing of inbound sync requests.

Do I have to upload my whole catalog?
No, Songtrust operates on a song-by-song basis.

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The Costs of Music Publishing

Let’s talk about running a music publishing company. Whether you are just starting, or operating a publisher as we speak, it is important to know when and why to spend money. Here are some estimates of what it takes to start and operate your own publisher:

 

Now what if someone told you that you can accomplish all of the same goals you had in mind for your company and you would spend significantly less time and money doing so? In fact, you wouldn’t have to do any of the administrative work, and you could focus more on the creative direction or on the aspects of your company that make it unique and successful. Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not. Songtrust powers 13,000 publishing companys’ administration. We’ve done the work for you, and are providing global publishing administration at a price that will save you money.

 

Let’s take a step further and map out a 5-year trajectory for your music publishing company. You will see that Songtrust’s admin services eliminate set-up and recurring costs, saving you an average of $48,590/year. We are using estimated royalty earnings and the conservative cost estimates here:


Songtrust specializes in thorough and extensive publishing administration. We stay up to date with the changing landscape of publishing, and always look out for our clients and partners. Let us worry about the costs and complications for you, and save yourself some time and money. If you’d like to learn more,
visit our website here.

Note: If you’d like to check our work, click here.

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