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6 types of publishing deals in the music industry

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Entertainment Law |

Making it in the music industry is a significant undertaking that requires talent and expertise. Most composers work with other professionals who can help them maximize their records, potentially boosting their value. However, it can be challenging to determine ownership and earnings unless you know how your publishing deal works.

Various publishing deal types handle music rights and income differently, including:

  • Assignment of rights – All composition rights go to the publishing company, transferring full ownership of the record.
  • Licensing of rights – The publishing company gives you compensation to use the record, allowing you to keep ownership of it.
  • Single or multiple song agreements – You give rights to the publishing company for one or numerous songs for a specific period, allowing the sharing of earnings divided by percentages.
  • Administration agreements – These contracts give the publishing company authority to administer the records created for a specific duration, allowing them to receive around 10% to 20% of earnings.
  • Co-publishing agreements – This setup allows you and the publishing company to work as partners with shared rights and earnings.
  • Sub-publishing agreement – This arrangement happens between publishers, allowing them to collaborate in receiving royalties in different territories for the composers.

These publishing deals have varying features, making them ideal based on your circumstances and preferences as the composer.

Feeling comfortable about your publishing deal

Working with a publishing company could be exciting. This opportunity could help you earn from your music and share it with a broader audience than if you worked alone. Still, you should avoid jumping the gun and evaluate the arrangement before sealing the deal. You can also seek legal advice. Doing so can ensure you feel comfortable about the setup enough for you to make music with, if not the same, more enthusiasm than when you started.