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#1158721 - 11/20/19 10:14 AM Publishing Adm Services  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 164
Donna Dutchess Offline
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Donna Dutchess  Offline
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Joined: May 2006
Posts: 164
Hi folks, for those of us who do not have a publisher, is it ok to sign with publishing adm. services, like Songtrust? I love the idea that anyone can apply for a license for any of my songs through them. It saves me from the part of the music business that I don't have time for. BUT, I'm finding out that if I want to license my songs for tv/movies, Songtrust gets a piece of the publishing and sites like christmasSongs.com will reject the song if they don't get 100% of the publishing.

What advice do you have on this topic? Thanks, Donna Dutchess

#1158790 - 11/22/19 08:21 AM Re: Publishing Adm Services [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,810
Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
I usually try to hold onto the publishing. Many publishers are small bottom feeders hoping to sign a song that will become popular without them doing the leg work, but they still get a share of the royalties. Been there , done that. Some services won't touch a song unless you own 100% of it, including the publishing. Being your own publisher has its good and bad points, but it gives you more control and a bargaining tool.

#1158829 - 11/23/19 03:02 PM Re: Publishing Adm Services [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Aug 2002
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
I checked out Songtrust (if it is the same company) and they just collect royalties on music for a fee, and a percentage of what they collect. They don't claim a share of your publishing. There must be another company with close to the same name..

#1165093 - 06/07/20 11:00 AM Re: Publishing Adm Services [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.

Sorry that I am just seeing this. I am not familar with SONGTRUST, but it is naive to think that people are going to use their companies, their political contacts and reputations that they have built up, usually over decades, to pitch and promote songs they don't have publishing on. What are they supposed to "get out of this?" The reason you go to a publisher or administrator is for them to get songs where you can't. That's the only reason. Supposedly they have ACCESS to industry people that you don't and that is the thing you are paying for.

If you wrote for a publisher and they either gave you a draw (salary) or paid for demos, or simply putting their reputation behind your song as opposed to many many other songs, often that THEY have paid for, staff writers, salaries, office space, web sites, etc. If the song doesn't EARN anything, there is no collections. Therefore, you are giving up 100% of nothing.

Songwriters have got to get used to a few reality facts. Songs don't earn what they once did. There are not hundred of thousand or million sellers anymore. There are ARTISTS that do very well financially but that is more often from ARTIST BRANDING than anything a particular song does. There was a period of time a few yeas ago, that LADY GA GA, had a very well performing song on the charts . It earned around $6000 during that time. Of course it was written by, performed by and the publishing owned by her. At the same time, through touring, merchandising and personal endorsements, she earned $68 MILLION dollars.

So most of these companies now are FEE FOR SERVICE because there is not much earned in the first place. They are going to collect an upfront fee. Publishing is either involved or not involved. To be honest, I'd be more interesting in assigning the publishing away because it is going to go somewhere else no matter what you do. If you are going to get a cut, especially from a major label or an independent artist with a major label connection, they are going to get the publishing. And the more reputable the company is, the more of the publishing they are going to get. you either take the deal or not.

A friend co-writer of mine is Jim McBride. He wrote some really huge hits for and with ALAN JACKSON. He wrote "Chasin that Neon Rainbow" and "Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochie." Which were among Alan's first and biggest hits. Yet, he didn't get the publishing until the third big hit song. The publishing went to SONY, which was the publishing company he was involved in. And that was 30 years ago. It hasn't gotten any easier. He told me that "Publishing is what you EARN back after someone opens a door and the song performs well financially." What that means is if you have one or even two songs that perform well, earn money, you are going to get a chance to renegotiate a better deal.

The idea of giving up your publishing is mostly for FUTURE opportunities. You want ACCESS to the publishers contacts, their staff writers, the artists they have in development. Everything has to be looked at in a much longer perspective. You are working on things today, that are going to be having activity a couple of years or more in the future. So either paying fees, or assigning publishing is the price of admission. And also look at it like this. If a publisher has publishing and publishing is only paid out if a song EARNS royalties, they will work harder on making sure that song is well placed and supported. So that is the INCENTIVE that they have to help you along.

But, as always, you never have to pay a thing, never have to assign a thing. If it is working for you the way it is, then you continue to do what you are doing. If you want to change and have different results, you have to play be the rules established.


#1165101 - 06/07/20 12:17 PM Re: Publishing Adm Services [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 9,409
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 9,409
Yes, as Everett said...There's a one time registration fee of $100 and 15% royalty commission. I would pass on this Donna.

Best, John smile

#1165105 - 06/07/20 01:09 PM Re: Publishing Adm Services [Re: Donna Dutchess]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 164
Donna Dutchess Offline
Serious Contributor
Donna Dutchess  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 164
Thank you again everyone for all the great advice.


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