10 Things You Need to Ask Before Choosing a Music Publishing Partner

By TuneCore Music Publishing Administration

The term “Publishing Administration” gets thrown around a lot in the music industry, and if you’re a songwriter, it’s critical that you understand what it means, how it works, and what your options are.  We put together a list of 10 things to know and ask before choosing a Publishing Administrator for your music, so you can get the maximum songwriter royalties possible.

1. What exactly is Publishing Administration when it comes to music?

In the music industry, songwriters earn royalties when their compositions are downloaded, streamed, and used around the world.  And it’s the job of a Publishing Administrator to register the songwriters’ compositions around the world, monitor when and where the compositions are used, license compositions for use, collect the royalties generated, and then distribute them to the songwriters.

For any history enthusiasts out there, the term “music publishing” originally referred to publishers of sheet music, as sheet music used to be the primary commercial use of musical compositions. Today, music publishing has split off from the sheet music business, and the large music publishers tend not to produce sheet music.

2. Why do songwriters need a Publishing Administrator? Can’t I just do it on my own? 

While you can go it alone, collecting songwriter royalties yourself is an incredibly time-consuming task.  It can take 6-12 months to establish your identity and create accounts with dozens of societies around the world.  Equally challenging is the fact that these societies don’t all speak your language and pay in your currency.  It’s also pretty pricey to take on collecting songwriter royalties. By the time you register with all the PROs and local societies, plus pay your yearly fees, you’ll likely have spent around $7800.

To read the rest of the article, head to HuffingtonPost.com …

  • JazzKeyboardist

    Thank you Jamie, for sharing this important information. As someone who is just getting started in the PRO game, I appreciate your candor where the ins and out of this topic are concerned. I recently became affiliated with BMI via Tunecore and intend on submitting my compositions through Tunecore. One question I have though. Do I still need to register my compositions with BMI if I submit them through Tunecore, or does Tunecore take care of that step for me as well?

    • tunecore

      Hey there! Psyched to hear you’ll be joining the community :)

      As for PRO’s, yes, you should join either ASCAP/BMI/SESAC prior to submitting your music via TuneCore. However, even if you are a member of one of those organizations, our distribution service only collects revenue from sales from our digital music partners (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc). Learn more about TuneCore Publishing Administration and how it pertains to collection additional royalties here: http://www.tunecore.com/blog/2013/05/why-you-need-tunecore-publishing-administration-and-ascap-bmi-or-sesac.html

      Hope that helps!

      • JazzKeyboardist

        I probably didn’t ask the question properly. I’m a member of BMI. Does Tunecore take care of the BMI registration of a tune that I submit through Tunecore, or do I have to submit the tune to BMI separately?

        • tunecore

          Sorry about that! Unless you’re a TuneCore Publishing Artist you will need to submit to BMI separately.

  • Gentleman Jack

    I have an Independent Publishing Company that I want to start.. can I use my company’s name along with your service?