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Music and Song Publishing Deals Part 2


Taken from the book "The Music Powers That Be"




In a very imaginary situation, where NO ADVANCE MONEY has been issued to the songwriters-

· Let's say we have two different songwriters; Mr. Adam and Ms. Eve, who write a song called "He Tricked You, Then I Got Tricked!".

· Mr. Adam has his own publishing company called Bad-rib Music, which has made a co-publishing deal with 3n1 Music Publishing

· Now, let’s say that Ms. Eve has a “standard songwriting publishing deal” with Live D Music Publishing.

If NO advance money has been paid to each of these writers, the 1 song disbursement from Mechanical royalties for about 11,000 records sold, which would be about $1,000, would breakdown to looking something like this below:

Songwriter Publishing Deal

Now, more often than not, most publishing deals that are offered to songwriters, especially in Hip-Hop and Popular music, well.... the better deals come about because a single song or multiple songs have been placed on a project that will be getting ready for release, or has already been placed on a project that has already been released and probably doing well.  Most publishers will only offer a decent contract with big money on the table if the song(s) are in a position or going to be in a position to make money.  This is why it’s so important if you are a stand-alone songwriter, to be collaborating with producers and artists that have projects being released. And the major publishers like BMG or EMI will usually consider approaching songwriters, or especially songwriter/producers and artist/songwriters when they know that there are songs placed on a album project - and the project is going to be promoted, especially if the songs are going to be on a major label release.


There are also major corporations like Sony or Warner that have music divisions that routinely offer publishing deals to strengthen their overall catalog’s worth.  When one of these music giants knows the project is coming out,  and they believe the project is going to be successful and promoted well, they believe that they will probably make “x” amount of dollars.  Publishers may then start seeking out the songwriters who were involved on the project, and offer them a deal.

Now, if a songwriter has multiple song projects being placed on major labels, especially if the writer has collaborated with successful major artist(s) or major producers, what ends up happening is that publishers will many times offer incredible amounts of money up front on the deal.  And this is a pretty good position to be in if you want a publishing deal because the attorney you hire can negotiate the best situation for you, not only in the advance money, but also a better overall deal through a co-publishing contract or an administration deal, as opposed to a standard songwriter deal.  But Note:  Commit this to memory: If you are considering a publishing deal, in most cases, there needs to be advance funds offered; money, laid out on the table.


...so, how much money?

Music Managers