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What exactly is music publishing?
Why is it so sought after in the music biz?
Why should publishing be important to me?
In the simplest terms possible, ownership of your publishing is HOW you earn royalties, it's the holy grail of the music business and is mostly the reason why at the hands of shady labels, managers, and producers some of the biggest acts in the world go broke or put in debt similarly to how the 90's R&B group TLC got done.
Publishing is your long term revenue stream if any song or songs in your catalog strikes worldwide popularity and/or sync placements in commercials, shows, and movies.
Example, Sir Mix A Lot is a 90's rapper from Seattle I remember more for his song Posse On Broadway. However his biggest generator in his catalog is a song that you're certain to hear anywhere and that's the big booty anthem of the world, Baby Got Back. That song came out in 1992. Here we are in 2020, I'll bet everything I own he is still cashing checks from that song getting played in every dive bar across America or synced somewhere in a movie. Think, he can eat today from a song released almost 30 years ago simply because he owns his publishing to that song.
Music publishing is comparable to real estate. Think of the songs in your catalog as properties. As a property owner you have the right to charge anyone a fee to rent your property.
For instance, going back into the Sir Mix A Lot example, Nikki Minaj "rented" (sampled) Baby Got Back on her single Anaconda. Her version hit #3 on Billboard selling lots of units and guess who got a piece of the pie? You guessed it, Sir Mix A Lot. How does that work? Remember, Sir Mix A Lot owns the publishing on the original song which means Nikki's team had to negotiate that sample clearance with him directly. Not the label, not his manager, etc. If you don't understand by now, this is not for you. Those who're ready to make a move, let's get down to business.
Royalties aka money paid to you for the use of your