A Round-Up of Songtrust Presents: Understanding & Collecting Publishing Royalties


As we continue to get used to this ‘new normal’ we held our 2ndVirtual Networking Event, a chance for our community to get together, many meeting each other for the first time, and this time round- we chatted all things Publishing.


On Tuesday we hosted 'Understanding & Collecting Publishing Royalties' with Songtrust's Director of Business Development Lara Baker. With a lot of income streams (like live music) gone for now, understanding of music publishing, royalties and how to collect them is now more important than ever. For many, Music Publishing can seem confusing and complex. During the 30 minute workshop Lara broke things down and covered a lot of ground including:

the basics of who a music publisher is,

what rights you have in your compositions,

what kind of publishing deals exist,

what kind of royalties there are and how they are collected

what Songtrust does.


One key take away from this session was The Modern Guide to Music Publishing by Songtrust - a free resource that goes into details about everything you need to know.. if you missed this session, we highly recommend you check out this free resource.

Some crucial points that Lara mentioned were:


Agree and record your splits when co-writing - If you are writing songs with one or more people it is important to record the percentages of every song you make so there are no problems when registering the songs and collecting royalties - it's best to do it right at the beginning as every single percentage matters and there can be problems if they don't add up.


Music publishing world is generally moving a bit slower than recorded or live music worlds as collecting royalties takes time. However, time to claim and collect your royalties expires - usually after 2-3 years after which point it is no longer possible to claim them- so it's best to not delay registering your works either by working with traditional music publishers or companies like Songtrust that can help you track and collect royalties in from around the world.


Towards the end of the workshop we learned more about what Songtrust is and what they do for songwriters. Rather than being a traditional publisher, Songtrust are a tech company that do music publishing admin. This means that they help you collect royalties for the songs you register with them but you retain full ownership of your copyright. Definitely something to consider as an alternative to a traditional publishing deal!


Finally, we were put into groups and networked virtually for a bit!

If you'd like to get in touch with Lara and learn more you can get in touch with her here or connect on Twitter or Instagram at @larakbaker.

The next YGN event will be on Tuesday 2nd June, the topic and details are yet to be announced- so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Written by Ivana Karabova

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