Many Ghanaian artists have ignored the topic of music publishing, or should I say they had no idea it exists? Either way, artists in Ghana, especially the young ones, have no idea what this is all about.
There is little to no education on this, and I will blame the masterminds running the music business in Ghana, especially the Performing Rights Organization. I say this because publishers work hand in hand with them, and it’s only fair they share this side of music with artists.
Now, music publishing is a complicated topic but, one doesn’t need to know the inside out of the whole thing. The important thing is knowing how it helps you as an artist to collect royalties on all your songs no matter where it’s played or used commercially.
How the publisher monitors your songs and collects your royalties shouldn’t be your headache. Your concern is understanding what original content means and how many rights you have to your song.
Last but not least, anyone that participated in making that piece of music must have some amount of publishing rights unless written otherwise in a recording contract or split-sheet.
In a nutshell, music publishing means giving a Publisher the rights or power to monitor your songs exclusively and collect all types of royalties on your behalf. I will write about the type of royalties artists are entitled to in another article soon.
To do this, you have to be the original copyright holder of the song or owns a part of the copyright percentage.
Most Publishing contracts are exclusive, and by exclusive, it simply means only one publisher or publishing company has the right to collect all royalties across the universe on your behalf. In certain cases, there are non-exclusive publishing deals, but it’s not very common.
One of the advantages of having a publisher is the peace of mind to make music instead of chasing and monitoring your songs yourself. Secondly, publishers can pitch your songs to moviemakers, advertisers, and all sorts of places for Sync placements. (I will explain Synchronization in another article as well.
Getting a publisher is very easy these days. Distribution platforms like Beatstars (also a beat store), CD Baby, Ditto Music, and others have music publishing integrated into their platform. This way, you distribute your music and get it on publishing on one platform.
To conclude, all artists need to have a publishing deal to enjoy maximum royalty collection across the universe.
Look out for my next article for artists…