Musicians, producers, artists, songwriters, composers, and everyone involved in music creation have the opportunity to own a portion of the rights to their songs and collect publishing royalties. To ensure you are participating in the songwriting ownership for your songs, make sure everyone agrees on splits and signs a split sheet.
Start by opening our split sheet template
A split sheet establishes who owns what percentages of a composition — or the publishing rights — in writing. (The ownership of the recording is a different matter.)
Songwriting splits can be negotiated by any party involved with a song, including co-writers, producers, and band members. If you are the only writer, you automatically own 100% of the copyright.
Deciding who gets what percentage of a song is completely negotiable between writers. Sometimes co-writers will split works evenly regardless of who wrote which part(s) of the song. Other times they’ll assign percentages based on each individual’s proportionate contribution to the final product. Either way, it’s best to get splits 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 owed publishing royalties. Having a percentage of publishing ownership can be a great source of recurring revenue.
Please note: If you include a sample of someone else’s composition in your work, you are expected to clear it with whoever owns 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.
Be sure to register your song splits with a publishing administrator like Songtrust once you are ready to release your music and start collecting publishing royalties.
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.