As part of our efforts to educate music creators, we’ve discussed everything from pay sources and publishing deals to how Songtrust can help monetize your music on every level.
Still not sure if we’re the right fit for the next phase of your career? Here are the top 10 reasons why Songtrust is an ideal publishing administrator, regardless of whether you’re a songwriter, producer, composer, manager, publisher, record label, or anyone else who writes songs.
1. Keep 100% of Your Rights
While selling a stake in your work can be a smart move for some experienced creators, many rightsholders prefer full ownership of their music. When you register your work with Songtrust, you retain 100% of your copyrights. That includes key creative rights like syncs because we believe your songs belong to you; no one else should decide what is done with them on a daily basis.
Read a refresher on songwriter rights here.
2. Flexible Terms
Traditional publishing deals often take a percentage of your musical compositions (often 25-50%) in exchange for copyright administration services, creative opportunities (writing sessions, pitching for sync licenses, pitching your songs to recording artists), marketing, and promotion campaigns, and team building.
During the term of a traditional publishing agreement, you’ll generally be required to not only allow your publisher to help guide your creative direction, but a number of other requirements, very often a minimum number of songs you’re responsible for delivering during that term, to maintaining a sound and image your publisher determines.
Songtrust is as flexible as publishing administration gets; we require only a one-year term, and you can select only the songs you want us to administer - we don’t require you to deliver your whole catalog. This gives you the freedom to steer your own career and feel confident that your royalties are being collected from every angle.
3. One-Time Fee
When registering with Songtrust, you pay a one-time fee of $100 per writer. This gives you access to our entire platform, global royalty collection across more than 245 territories, and the ability to register an unlimited number of songs through your account.
We can also affiliate you with the collection society of your choice at no additional cost if you’re not already set up with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) like ASCAP, BMI, or IMRO. And contrary to many other administrators, we only take 15% of your publisher’s share — one of the lowest commission rates in the industry.
4. You’re In Control
As a Songtrust client, you gain access not only to our global publishing royalty infrastructure but also to a robust team of publishing and rights management experts who are ready to offer advice on publishing issues.
5. Global Reach
When we say global, we mean we cover 98% of the world’s music market for collection. Songtrust maintains direct relationships with more than 60 pay sources and collection societies in more than 245 territories around the world, giving us the greatest range of royalty collection coverage available to fiercely independent creators.
Whether you’re affiliated with a U.S. PRO like ASCAP or an international society like APRA AMCOS, we collect publishing royalties on your behalf. Or maybe you’re a BMI songwriter touring in Germany? Not a problem; we can help submit your international setlists and collect your publishing royalties from GEMA.
Our mission doesn’t end there, either; we’re continually strengthening and expanding our pay source relationships throughout the world. Our team is also global, with nine offices around the world, and access to the widespread resources our parent company Downtown Music Holdings offers in 22 cities.
Check out our global collection list here.
6. Support Your Songs
In a more traditional publishing deal, you may be required to deliver all of your songs to your publisher, and, further, you may be required to write and deliver a minimum number of songs during your term.
At Songtrust, we believe you should choose which songs you need help with. If you don’t want to register any songs you created before 2018, you don’t have to. If you choose to include every song you’ve ever made, even better. We have clients with thousands of songs, and we have clients with only a cut of a single song. We can work with you, whatever your catalog looks like.
When you join Songtrust, you can register as many, or as few, songs as you’d like. It’s your decision, and yours alone; we’ll focus on collecting your royalties.
7. More Than Your Collection Society
Every songwriter or rights holder needs to be affiliated with a PRO or Collective Management Organization (CMO) in their territory. These societies help rightsholders collect their writer’s share royalties as well as the occasional publisher’s share.
But local societies can’t cover every potential global pay source. We saw this discrepancy and decided songwriters needed a way to collect all of their royalties — performance, mechanical, and micro-sync — in one place. Because of this, we act as your publisher and collect all of your publishing royalties on your behalf so you can focus on what you do best: music.
8. Client Services
At Songtrust, you don’t have to worry about having your questions and concerns addressed on a weekly basis. Our client services team is available Monday through Friday, from 10AM until 6PM EST. Their mission is to make music publishing less complicated and more accessible for you. For quick answers to frequently asked questions, please consult our Help Center.
9. Track Your Royalties Your Way
We want to make sure you have a clear understanding of where your royalties are coming from. That’s why we created a comprehensive dashboard that allows you to easily follow the royalties you’re collecting.
We also pay out four times per year — more often than many publishers. This means you’ll receive a transparent royalty report and a direct deposit every quarter. After all, it’s your money; you’ve earned it.
Download our royalty statement guide here.
10. Songtrust Community
Last but certainly not least in the pro column is the Songtrust community. We’ve worked really hard to create (and continue creating!) an environment for songwriters to learn, network, and discuss everything from music industry issues to publishing resources. Whether that’s through our social media platforms (look for us at @songtrust) or through our blog, we’re constantly looking for new ways to connect and share information with anyone interested in publishing (even if you’re not a Songtrust client).
When you become a part of the Songtrust community, we keep you connected with our weekly newsletter, ongoing webinar series, Instagram Live series and YouTube channel, and a client-only Facebook group for further networking and collaboration opportunities. We also feature client songs on our playlists and love to highlight Songtrust clients on our socials and through our Spotlight series.
Take control of your publishing. Maximize Songtrust for your songs and business.
We created this guide to answer a simple question: How do songwriters support themselves?
The answer is not as simple as we’d like, but our goal is to make it as clear, transparent and understandable as we possibly can.
Songtrust is more than just a rights management platform and publishing administrator - we’re a team of experts in the music community who strive to educate, support, and provide thought leadership to creators, representatives, and businesses across the music industry.
Our hope is that you’ll finish this guide with an better understanding of the business behind songwriting and have actionable resources to help you be successful.