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Music Industry Basics: What is music publishing?

Written by Thomas Mould on 07 October 2016

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What is Music Publishing?

Music publishing is a broad term that includes the development of new music, protecting music, and promoting the value of music. Music publishers help composers by taking care of the business aspects of publishing, this allows the artist to focus on producing new works.

Music publishers look for new artists, produce demo recordings and other promotional materials, grant licenses to use the works, secure commissions for new artists, monitor the use of music, make royalty payments to artists, and take legal action against those who use the work without a licence.

In return for the publisher’s services of exploiting the artists’ works, the publisher will receive a percentage of the royalties that are due to the artist; this may be as high as 50%.

Music publishers are important to artists as they are generally not business minded. By taking out the business aspect, the artist can flourish and produce more works safe in the knowledge that there is a publisher doing all they can to exploit the artists’ works.


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