The Costs of Music Publishing

Jason Cerf
Jason Cerf on Mar 3, 2017

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 to download a spreadsheet.

Related Articles

What is the Music Modernization Act?

You’ve definitely heard about it in the news as it’s been making waves in the music community for the past year—the Music Modernization Act, or MMA. On the surface it’s legislation, written and introduced by Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), that would change the rates and the way mechanical royalties are paid out to copyright owners, and overhaul how the statutory boards and courts regulate collective licensing in the United States. Looking under the surface, this proposed legislation is much more complicated and nuanced, ultimately positively affecting the lives of rights holders, streaming companies, and the music industry for the future.

Mar 22, 2018

Do I Need More Than a Performance Rights Organization?

Many of Songtrust’s most frequently asked questions focus on how we work with Performance Rights Organizations, or PROs. Many times songwriters will ask “I’m already registered with a PRO, do I still need Songtrust?” or “Do I need to register with a performance rights organization (PRO)?” The answer simply is yes, but it’s important to understand why you need one and why you still need publishing administration from a company like Songtrust.

Mar 13, 2018

Why Your Setlist is More Than Just a Souvenir

As an artist, sharing the hard work you’ve put into your songs is just as important as the songs themselves. You have so many options when it comes to sharing with your community -- digitally on streaming services, visually through music videos, and publically through gigs. While you often get paid through a pre-negotiated deal with the venue, did you know you also earn performance royalties from the songs that you perform publicly? This happens through your setlist -- the document, whether handwritten or printed, that lists the songs in the order you plan to perform -- which, once submitted, gets sent to your PRO (performance rights organization) to distribute your earned royalties.

Mar 12, 2018