5 Great Reasons Why a Songwriter Should Start a Music Publishing Company
If you’re an aspiring or professional songwriter then I’m sure you love what you do. 9 times out of 10 songwriting is more than a hobby for you. It’s something you want or are have already built a career out of. As a professional songwriter you may want to focus on only songwriting. This is absolutely fine. Many songwriter want to stick with what they know. They may not want to go on and become a producer, engineer or record executive. This is very understandable. However, the one songwriting related field songwriters should consider learning is music publishing. As a songwriter you may ask “do I have to start my own music publishing company?” The correct answer is technically no. You can be a successful, great songwriter without owning your own music publishing company. However, it’s not the best idea. Here are 5 great reasons why every songwriter should start his or her own music publishing company.
The most important reason you should consider starting your own music publishing company as a songwriter is due to royalties. The reality is you receive more royalties when you are your own music publisher. This is considered music publishing 101 and it’s very important to know. Of course money isn’t everything. You shouldn’t be a songwriter simply for the money. But you also want to make sure you’re going to get paid. Music royalties are how songwriters get paid. When you’re a songwriter signed to a music publishing company you have to split your royalties. The amount the publisher is owed depends on the deal you negotiated. The average music publisher takes 50% of the songwriter’s royalties. Some independent music publishing companies may take only 25%. However, if you’re your own music publisher and have your own company you wouldn’t have to worry about splitting your royalties. The 25-50% owed to your music publisher would go to yourself. After all, you are the music publisher.
2) Get access to all your royalties
Something very important to understand about music royalties is that they are more than 1 type. Unfortunately, it’s not just 1 source of music royalties. There are several different types of music royalties. There are performance royalties, mechanical royalties, print royalties and many more. The job of your music publishing company as a songwriter is to obtain all your royalties, from all sources. If you’re simply a songwriter you may miss out on access to some of these royalties. Sure as a songwriter you can sign up with a PRO (performing rights organization) such as ASCAP or BMI to get your performance and public royalties. However, you also want to make sure you receive your mechanical, digital, Youtube and many more types of music royalties. These particular type of royalties can’t be receive my a songwriter independently. The songwriter has to be signed to a music publisher or a member of a royalty collecting agency. This is why it’s important as a songwriter to also be your own music publisher.
3) Easier to protect your works
As a songwriter the most important factor you want is to protect your works. You want to make sure your songs are copy written. You also want to make sure you’re getting paid properly for your songs. You also want to make sure your songs aren’t being used without your permission. This is the job of your music publisher. Of course most music publishing companies do a great job at this. Some of the top music publishing companies do excellent jobs on protecting your music. However, if you’re your own music publisher it’s easier to keep an eye on your music. It’s easier to know exactly what’s going on with your songs. You can get answers regarding your compositions instantly. You have immediate access to your music and the state it’s in. You can always check on the status of your music on your own terms.
4) Gain more experience
Starting your own music publishing company as a songwriter gives you tremendous experience. It gives you hands on experience with the music business. It allows you to become a mini mogul. It also allows you to become independent in regards to the business side of music. You don’t have to wait on someone else to explain how the business side goes. You don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of. With your own music publishing company you get to control the business aspect of your songs. Becoming your own music publisher while being a songwriter is a very powerful move to make. Instead of simply being a songwriter and not understanding what’s going on with your music, you take your craft to the next level. You broaden your horizons and take your professional career to the next level. Every songwriter should become their own publisher or at least research all about music publishing and how it goes.
5) Become more professional
To succeed in the music business as a songwriter you have to be a professional. It doesn’t matter how good your songwriting skills are. It doesn’t matter how many hits you’ve written. If you’re not professional it will eventually harm your career. Creating your own music publishing company allows you to become a true professional. You’re now more than a songwriter. You have officially entered another level of music and the business. A lot of people can say “I’m a songwriter.” But it’s even more impressive when you can say “I’m a songwriter and I have my own music publishing company. I’m my own music publisher.” You appear more professional and experienced. It shows that you really know the industry you’re in. When you attend music related events and meet executives you would appear very professional. You will also begin to build your reputation as a music professional. You’d be surprised how many artists, songwriters and executives you’ll impress. Some of the best music publishing companies were started by the songwriters themselves.
These 5 music publishing company tips are simple but very powerful. They may seem small but they make a huge difference. There’s nothing wrong with being signed to a major music publishing company, or even an independent one. However, as a songwriter creating your own music publishing company is one of the best moves you can make. It gives you leverage, independence and knowledge.