Canadian Musician - May/June 2021 - Page 10

INDIE INSIDER

By Dani Oliva & Sindee Levin

HOW TO MAKE

Your Publisher Work for You

So , you ’ re a songwriter , artist , or producer and you got a publishing deal offer — congrats ! It ’ s a huge accomplishment . But what exactly did you get an offer for , how does a publishing deal help you , and what should you look for in a publishing deal ?

Let ’ s review the basics real quick : a sound recording has two copyrights : 1 ) the composition , a . k . a . the “ song ”; and 2 ) the sound recording , a . k . a . the “ master .”
When you , the creator , record a composition , you ’ re also creating a sound recording or master that can be assigned to a record label . The composition , as you probably guessed , is the underlying composition of the sound recording that you can assign to a publishing company .
So , what does a publishing company (“ publisher ”) do ? Ideally , a publisher takes care of the business side so you can do what you do best , create music ! A publisher finds people to use your songs , issuing licences and collecting money , and then pays you ( or “ administers ”) the composition .
Usually a publisher splits income 50 / 50 with you ( with a few exceptions ), and the money the publisher keeps is known as the publisher ’ s share . The remaining is called the writer ’ s share . So , if someone pays one dollar to use a song , the publisher keeps 50 % ( or 50 cents ) as the publisher ’ s share , and the songwriter gets paid 50 % ( the other 50 cents ) as the writer ’ s share . This brings us to one of the most important points . A publishing company should do something for you .
What should they do ? They should
10 CANADIAN MUSICIAN