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What a publisher does

Discover what it takes to be a music publisher before you apply for membership

Thinking about becoming a music publisher?

Forming a music publishing business requires you to apply your creative and industry knowledge and experience to the development of other writers and their catalogues, in return for a percentage of their royalty income.

Music publishing entails a high level of accounting processes and responsibilities. Are you ready to become a music publisher?

Considerations before you start a music publishing business

  • Are you adequately prepared and resourced to market, administer and monitor the work of other writers so that it will generate a meaningful royalty income?
  • You will be expected to register the works and agreements with APRA AMCOS. Do you have the required software, hardware, computer literacy and copyright knowledge for how to Do this?
  • How do you intend to earn your percentage of royalty income?
  • Do you have a network of music users and the means to promote your writers’ works to them?
  • Are you in a position to advance money to a writer before collecting any income? (this may be an important incentive to songwriters)

Industry knowledge is a requirement

  • Is your music industry experience adequate to creatively and strategically guide your writers?
  • Do you have strong relationships within the creative industries that will allow you to exploit your writers’ works in different environments?
  • Are you in a position to market your writers’ works to the key business partners: record companies, media networks, film and television production companies, online service providers, advertising agencies, and print publishers?

Business acumen is essential

  • Do you have a detailed understanding of copyright, locally and overseas?
  • Do you understand the difference between performance, mechanical, print and synchronisation rights and how they are administered?
  • What is your understanding of how the changing technological landscape is shaping the way that music is marketed and sold?
  • Do you have the ability to create and issue legal licences to multiple businesses?
  • Are you equipped to monitor the use of your writers’ music around the world?
  • Do you understand the legal terms and obligations of a publishing agreement? Have you used the services of a lawyer to construct your songwriting agreements?
  • Are you in a position to administer your writers’ finances, deduct tax, and correctly report to your writers about how their works are performing financially?
  • If registered in Australia your ABN/ACN, GST registration status and bank details will need to be up to date. If registered in New Zealand your NZBN/NZ Company No./IRD, GST registration status and bank details will need to be up to date. These are things we’ll need in order to pay you your royalties.