What is music publishing?



hey this is Rob from CD Baby Pro here to talk to you about music publishing at CD Baby the publishing question we get asked most often is also the most basic what is music publishing so we try to put together a simple answer for you music publishing is the act of promoting protecting and accounting for musical compositions so if you're an independent songwriter chances are you're also a music publisher and there are a few kinds of publisher you can be you can be a self publisher meaning you own your own copyrights you can be a co publisher meaning you own them with somebody else or you can be a publishing administrator like CD Baby Pro where you don't actually own copyrights you just administer the royalties and make sure the songs are registered properly either way being a publisher means something it means you have two very important things the first is exclusive rights which we'll go over in a second the second is access to over 900,000 potential royalty streams worldwide which is crazy so what are these exclusive rights you have as a music publisher under US copyright law when you write a song placing the melody and lyric in some fixed form you immediately granted the right of public performance distribution derivative works reproduction digital transmission and public display this means you have the exclusive right to authorize others to perform your music in public distribute your composition to stores make copies change the lyrics broadcast over the Internet and other stuff these rights give you control control over things like creative uses of your music you get to decide things like who performs the first recording of your composition and what sync placements are the right fit for you you also have financial control of your composition to decide things like licensing terms sync fees and whether to hire an administrator to handle your business for you so how do you take care of these rights the first is to have agreements if you're co-writing with someone else have agreements with your collaborators that says who owns what next register your songs signing up with a service like CD Baby Pro will get your songs registered worldwide so you can collect all the revenue you have coming to you manage your data to record changes in ownership if you change publishers or sign with a publishing company or decide you want to change the share of ownership in one of your songs for any reason to update your song registrations publishing administrator can do this for you and it's essential to making sure everyone gets paid on time and in the right amount so how do music publishers actually make money the publishing industry is estimated to be about eight billion dollars worldwide with about 2.2 billion of that from the US all that revenue is from some form of licensing of those exclusive rights we talked about earlier you earn royalties by licensing your public performance rights your mechanical rights your sync rights and other steps such as public display of your lyrics or sheet music all this licensing generates money for the publisher of the songwriter let's look at the first one public performance which is also the biggest a public performance is any instance where your composition is played in public that can be on a television station a radio commercial a digital service or website or a live music venue being a member of a performing write society like ASCAP or BMI is the best way to collect these royalties they have agreements with the outlets that publicly perform compositions and pay royalties to publishers and songwriters when their songs are performed another very significant revenue stream for publishers is mechanical royalties a publisher earns a mechanical royalty any time a composition is reproduced that means reproduced by a label distributing your album on CD consumer clicking play on an interactive streaming service like Spotify or a download retailer recording a sale of one of your songs which creates a permanent digital copy sales in the US are paid through your distributor streams are paid through services like HFA media net while royalties for foreign sales and streams are paid by the relevant local mechanical societies so how do you collect well as I mentioned for physical and digital downloads in the US these royalties are paid to you through your distributor this is called a pass-through and it means that you're already getting them which script on the other hand mechanical royalties for all foreign sales and all interactive streaming including us can only be gotten by affiliating with all the relevant collectors we're signing up with a publishing administrator like CD Baby Pro who's already affiliate another significant part of publishers income comes from sync revenue a sync is when someone aligns your music with a visual and broadcasts it or reproduces it this can be a film a commercial web video a video game a TV show etc a publisher is typically paid an upfront license fee in exchange for sync rights and can also earn performance royalties if the sync gets broadcast on television radio or certain websites YouTube is a platform where sync rights are used extensively the things work a little differently you create a soundtrack for your video you upload to your channel and you set to monetize once you do that you're set to earn money through ads placed over or on your video you can also use YouTube to search for other uses of your music and authorize them in exchange for making some money from the ads on those videos so what have we learned today about music publishing first know your six exclusive rights distribution reproduction public performance digital transmission public display and derivative works those are yours if you're a publisher only you can decide what to do with them protect your rights have agreements with collaborators register your works with performing right societies and don't give up control or ownership of your copyrights without payment or some kind of consideration your copyrights are your property and finally some tips to maximize your revenue first log your live sets go to your Performing Rights Society website and log your tour set lists if you perform in licensed venues you'll earn royalties make sure you're set up to collect globally music is a digital global business now streaming platforms are everywhere revenue can come from anywhere so be set up to go out and get be proactive and seeking creative placements for your work look for creators of television shows film makers and video game franchises that use music like yours and get your music into their hands never forget your music has value make sure those that want to use it whether it be for a TV placement or a live gig know it thanks for watching this far and lookout for more music publishing tips from us at CD Baby Pro

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