And why does it matter?
Every composition has two sets of rights: the writer's share and the publisher's share. As the copyright holder/creator, you inherently own both shares. However, you can choose to transfer all or some of the rights in the publisher share through a publishing or co-pub deal. Performance royalties have always been split this way, with one half being sent to the songwriters directly (writer share) and the other half is required to be collected by a publisher (publisher share).
However, thanks to administration services like Songtrust, you now have the option to maintain 100% ownership of both your writer and publisher share, and still be able to get both sets of royalties without having to sacrifice any ownership! By entering into an administration agreement, rather than a publishing or co-publishing deal, you maintain ownership of your rights as a copyright holder and instead solely transfer administration rights in the publisher share to Songtrust.
In addition, Songtrust has also begun collecting your writer's share directly from some sources, like Amazon Prime Music and Google Play. Why? Having Songtrust collect your full amount directly means you get your money faster and there’s one less hand in your pocket taking a collection fee. We pay out the writer performance royalties at 100% instead of the commission rate you agreed to when signing up with Songtrust.
Right now, we are only collecting direct from a few select sources, so for income resulting from other places, the writer will receive their writer share directly from their PRO.
If you release music in the United States, 100% of mechanical royalties are collected by the publisher. If you have questions about mechanical royalties in other countries, shoot us a message via the chatbox!