What Is an Exclusive Songwriter Agreement?

Also known as a "staff writer" agreement.

Under an exclusive songwriter agreement or “staff writer” contract, the songwriter generally assigns the entire publisher’s share of any songs written during the term of the agreement to a publishing company.

In exchange, the publisher provides the songwriter with an advance paid out on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis like a salary, and must be recouped in the same way as in a co-publishing or administration deal.

These salary-like advance payments are the draw of this type of deal, as a songwriter can feel a bit more financially secure. The publisher will also perform administrative and creative duties for the writer’s catalog within the agreement.

This type of deal is usually offered to writers who have already demonstrated a good deal of success so that the publisher is confident that they will receive a return on their investment.



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