What does a music publisher do?
A music publisher or a publishing company pays out royalties to published songwriters, producers when their songs are used commercially. So simply if you are an artist, producer, songwriter who has written or produced anything that has been sold, you need a publisher to receive payments from your works. Please don’t get publishing confused with copyrighting your song. Copyrighting simply just means you have ownership for your work that you have registered.
As a producer or songwriter, why would I need a music publisher?
To collect your money. If you produced a song for an artist or even wrote a song for that matter, you are entitled to a percentage. In the music world, a song’s ownership equals 100%. 50% is generally distributed to the writer while the other 50% is for the producer/publisher. So let’s say you produced a song for Artist X and the song sells 100,000 copies. If you don’t have your publishing setup, you are missing out on thousands and thousands of dollars. Surprisingly, many producers, songwriters aren’t published or know to get it.
What is a PRO?
The term PRO means Performance Rights Organization. They pay out royalties generated from TV, Film, and Radio. The 3 major performanic rights organizations are Ascap, BMI, and SeSAC, but there are tons of music publishers out there, you just have to search. I’m not going to get into details on this post of the benefits of each, but I recommend you go to each one’s website and read about them.
I hope this post answers some of your questions. If you are an upcoming songwriter or producer, it’s best to be affliated now even without placements. Stay tuned for more posts in the future :).