Tag Archive: Music distribution

  1. How Publishing Works – Contracts and Rights Explained

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    How Publishing Works

    How Publishing Works

    Publishing can be a very tricky area of the music industry to understand. As if the concept of what publishing is wasn’t difficult enough, there are a huge number of acronyms and organisations to remember. Luckily we are here to help make sense of it all for you.

    Music publishers are essentially the people who administer the rights for songwriters and composers on a piece of music. When a song is created there can often be songwriters consulted who are not members of the band or performing act. In order to make sure they receive royalties for their work, a song is split into two different parts when dealing with rights. Publishers deal with the rights for the composition of the song and the written work, whereas labels typically deal with the recording of the song as a different component (often known as the master).

    When signing to a publisher in the UK, they will work together with the UK collection society called PRS (similar organisations exist in other countries under different names). The PRS is an organisation that represents songwriters, composers and publishers, collecting royalties on their behalf whenever their music is performed publicly. This can be when the song is played live, on TV, radio or in public places like retail shops.

    As if the split between recording and composition wasn’t confusing enough, there are also a few types of income streams with publishing. These are:

    • Performing Rights.
    • Mechanical Income.
    • Synchronisation.
    • Print Rights.

    Check out this post for more information on what these rights mean.

    Publishing Contracts

    When singing a publishing deal there are a few different kinds of typical scenarios you can expect:

    Single Song Assignment - Also referred to as a specific agreement. This is where the publisher will only publish individual songs and the songwriter is not exclusively signed to them. They can enter into as many single song agreements as they wish. The agreement is also made for a specific period of time.

    Exclusive Writer Contract - This type of deal is more serious and is worth seeking legal advice for before signing. The entire catalogue of the writer is covered by this agreement and could include a recoupable advance for the writer. Make sure to look at the length of the agreement, the territories involved and the royalty split when signing this agreement.

    Administration - This is a different kind of contract where the writer does not sign any publishing rights away, and does not involve any creative endeavours such as sync opportunities. Instead this brings in a third party to handle the administrative work of publishing, such as collecting foreign income through sub-publishers in other territories. The administrator will take a percentage of the royalties for this work.

    Sub-publishing Agreement - This is a deal that publishers make with other publishers and is generally done without the involving the writer. If a publisher feels that the writers work would be better represented in another territory by a different publisher, they will write a sub-publisher agreement to do this. For example, if a publisher in England would like to publish in America they may find an American publisher to work with.  The advantages of this are that that publisher could be an expert in their territory and have good contacts. Royalties would also flow quicker as that publisher can collect more easily for their territory. The disadvantages of this however is that there are more parties taking a cut of royalties before they reach the writer, and  when new developments occur for the writer it can take a long time to update each and every publisher about what is going on.

    Synchronisation - This contract can be made to either a publisher or a specialised sync company. This deal solely covers trying to license music for sync and collecting money from that. Typically there is a 50/50 royalty split between the writer and sync company but this can vary. Specialised companies tend to have better contacts in TV and film companies, but it is worth looking at what successful placements they have done in the past.

    Overall publishing can create a great source of income for artists aside from regular sales of music. It also means you are not missing out on royalties you are potentially owed and creates great exposure opportunities through sync placements. Hopefully this helps you to understand a little more about publishing and what its place is within the music world.

     

  2. All you Need to Know About Releasing a Cover Song

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    If you are planning on releasing a release of cover songs there are a few things you need to consider before submitting to us.

    All you Need to Know About Releasing a Cover Song

    Do I need a license to release globally?

    To distribute your release to the United States you will need to obtain a Harry Fox license. If you do not have this license you cannot release in the US. For the rest of the world you do not need a license. If you would like to omit the United States from you release but would like to release everywhere else please enter in the ISO code: “US” in the ‘Licensed territories to exclude’ field.

    Your release will then be distributed everywhere except the United states. All other territories are dealt with by the stores at the point of sale (stores pay the collection societies from cut of sales).

    You should make every effort to ensure that your cover of the chosen song is not too similar to the original as these will not be accepted by certain stores; try to make the song your own.

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    Who do I need to credit?

    When releasing covers you must credit the original songwriters and the publishers. You can do this by entering them in the ‘Composers’ and ‘Publisher’ fields on your release.

    You should always try to get permission from the original publisher.

    You must not mention the original artist in the track or release title. Phrases such as “originally performed by” or “in the style of” should also not be used.

    What happens about my royalties?

    Royalties for cover songs are processed in the same way as usual. The amount you have earned will appear on the Client Zone in the normal way, however the PRS cut will have already been taken at the point of sale.

     

  3. Looking back on our 10 year history!

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    horus music turns 10Horus Music is 10 years old this year, and what better way to celebrate than to look back on what we have been up to over the 12 months. In addition to opening an office in India, we have attended several industry events and welcomed many new faces to the team.

    The biggest and most exciting event of the past year has been the opening of our new office in India! Setting up shop in Mumbai, we can now bring our expertise in music distribution and other services to Indian artists while retaining a local feel. The new members of our Indian team came to our Leicester office to visit in early June and it was a great opportunity to learn more about Indian music and culture for the rest of the team.

    In addition to our Indian venture, we have kept ourselves busy in the UK too. This year Horus Music were sponsors of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival’s Free Stage, where we helped to bring free jazz music to over 14,000 people over the course of the weekend. The event was a huge success and showcased some great up and coming jazz artists as well as established acts. Among some of these acts were Jamie Cullum, Corinne Bailey Rae and Beverly Knight. Beverly previously distributed music through our service in 2015. Horus Music also was a sponsor of this years Midem conference in Cannes. As the worlds biggest music industry conference, we have been attending Midem ever since the company began and have some great relationships with other attendees and organisers of the event. Being a sponsor was a great way to celebrate our 10th year as a company as well as a decade of attending Midem, which has always been a rewarding event for us and continues to be.

    In other industry events we sponsored the Brighton Music Conference, which showcases the latest in dance music technology and DJ equipment. There were also a number of industry talks and panels, one of which we organised ourselves called ‘Downloads, Streaming, Vinyl and Record Labels: Navigating the Next 10 Years’ which was very well received. In May we attended The Great Escape Festival, also in Brighton, and attended various industry talks as well as meeting some great companies and see some up and coming UK artists.

    We also had the long awaited visit of our Web Guru’s from Croatia to our Leicester office. It was a great experience to have the full team together and discuss upcoming improvements to our system that you can all expect to see in the near future. It was fun giving our foreign visitors a taste of English culture and food too, in addition to allowing them to meet the new members of our growing team.

    As a celebration for our 10th birthday party, we will be inviting plenty of old and new friends, as well as some of our clients to join us in reflecting on the past decade as well as looking forward to the future of Horus Music.

    In the mean time take a look at this video that shows some of the milestones from our humble beginnings in Birmingham to where we are now. Here’s to the next 10 years!