When Should a Songwriter Join Songtrust or Start Their Own Publishing Entity?

It depends on a number of different factors...

There are no particular time frames for registering with a music publishing administrator or starting your own publishing company. However, we recommend keeping a few things in mind as your career continues to grow. 

The first thing to consider is whether you plan on releasing - or have already released - recordings of your original compositions on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Anytime your songs are played on these services, you have the potential to earn money on behalf of their two halves: the recording and the underlying composition

Once your songs start accruing publishing royalties, Songtrust can help you collect the mechanical royalties generated by these on-demand streaming services and pass this money onto you, since Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) don’t handle mechanical royalties, and Collective Management Organizations and Mechanical Rights Organizations like The Mechanical Licensing Collective focus on their own territories.

The second thing to consider is whether you are performing your works publicly, whether that’s live on stage, or broadcast over the radio or via a streaming radio service like Pandora. If you own your copyright, you are entitled to both the writer and publisher share of any performance royalties thus generated. 

If your only audience is domestic, registering with your local PRO and MRO, or CMO, may be enough to collect your royalties. But if your songs are being played and streamed globally, you will definitely want to work with a publishing administrator like Songtrust. After all, we have direct affiliations with other territories, and your local collection society isn’t always able to collect royalties generated outside of your home territory.

How much money you hope to make with your music? Starting your own publishing company or registering for a service like Songtrust, while relatively inexpensive, isn't free, so it is important to think about whether or not you will recoup your original investment. For more information on what sets us apart from other administrative services, check out the Top 10 Reasons You Need Songtrust.

Still you're unsure if you're ready to get started with a publisher...


Interested in learning more? Check our Blog post on Seven Steps to Starting Your Own Music Publishing Company.


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