Why is Music Publishing Important?

If you wrote the song, you are owed money for the use of your composition.

The music publishing industry, and in general, music publishing, is extremely important to the future of recording artists, songwriters and many other groups within the music industry. Most artists are typically concerned about securing their first major recording deal with a top label; as a result, they fail to see the importance of making sure they are covered for the publishing side. 

 

Did you know that if a band or artist writes their own material, they are by default the 'publisher' of those songs and automatically own 100% of the copyright?

 

For many songwriters, publishing royalties can be their most consistent and dependable sources of income – more so than master recording royalties (record sales), touring (where there’s no guarantee you sell enough tickets to make money), or other more precarious revenue streams in the music industry.

The majority of an artist’s publishing income comes from its mechanical and public performance rights. Mechanical rights cover the reproduction of a song on a record. In the standard contract between a band and a label, the label is required by law to pay the composer a fixed rate per song simply for the right to use the composition on commercially sold recordings - this is referred to as the statutory mechanical royalty rate. As of 2018, the statutory mechanical royalty rate for the U.S. is 9.1 cents per song, however, the exact rate varies in each territory. With the performance rights, a song's copyright covers every time it appears on radio, television, in restaurants, bars, and more.

Publishing’s importance is increasing as the internet enables new methods of music distribution. Advances in digital music distribution have made independent music available to a much wider audience with many different types of payment models. This has created a significant increase in publishing revenues for many more songwriters.

 

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