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.

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