Q&A with Songtrust | Label Worx
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Q&A with Songtrust
Posted By : Laura Holness
|
Posted Date : July 23rd, 2020
It has never been more important to make sure that your releases are generating an income and that you are collecting every penny possible from your music. The world of publishing and royalty collection can be notoriously tricky to navigate though, which is why we've teamed up with Songtrust to offer Label Worx customers an exclusive 20% discount on the usual $100 registration fee.

Songtrust can help you to access royalties whilst retaining full ownership of your rights - find out more about how they can help in our Q&A below, and to take advantage of this deal, visit their website and use the code 'labelworx' when prompted.

First of all - what's the easiest way to describe what Songtrust is and what you do?


Songtrust is the world's largest technology solution for global music publishing royalty collection and administration. We were founded to simplify music rights management and remove the complexity of the publishing landscape. Our core mission is to help musicians, publishers, labels, and distributors easily track and collect global publishing royalties for their music catalogues.

Songtrust administers more than 2,000,000 songs and represents more than 300,000 songwriters, including those who have written songs recorded by Drake, Billie Eilish, and Kendrick Lamar. We also work with publishers and distributors such as CD Baby, Downtown Music Publishing, and Sub Pop Publishing. Songtrust maintains the most extensive, accessible publishing network in the music industry by having direct relationships across more than 50 rights societies around the world covering more than 150 countries and territories.

The world of music publishing can be quite daunting for a lot of people - how does Songtrust make this world easier to navigate?

Many people in all parts of the industry don't fully understand publishing administration, it's complicated! In addition, laws and systems work differently based on the country or territory. At Songtrust, we have invested a lot of time and resources into developing working relationships with over 50 societies and pay sources around the world, so that whenever you have a stream, radio play, live performance etc somewhere in the world, if your song is registered with Songtrust, we can collect the royalties due to you.

If your music is being distributed and performed worldwide, and you don't have a publishing deal, your royalties are sitting in collection societies around the world waiting to be claimed by you. The problem is that in order to collect these royalties, you need direct relationships with each society in each territory.

As an independent songwriter, it's nearly impossible to affiliate with all of the global societies, and even affiliating with a handful would cost you several thousands of Pounds. Songtrust gives songwriters access to our global network of societies and collections sources, so they can collect their publishing royalties throughout the world without having to individually affiliate and register their work with each society.

We also offer a very simple to use dashboard, for both registering your songs and also for viewing your royalty data. Through our platform you can see exactly what royalties you're earning - which songs they're for, when they were earned, which country they're from, which society they have been received from. It's a transparent, simple and writer friendly way of managing your publishing rights.

So when you sign up with Songtrust, you know that you're covered for royalty collection, and you can see exactly where your royalties are coming from. You can be sure that a dedicated team of publishing experts are working hard to provide resources on all the aspects of the music business and ensuring you're accessing what you're due.

Finally, we believe that educating writers and their teams about their rights is really important, so we do weekly free webinars explaining publishing administration and copyright issues, and also have great free resources at Songtrust.com like the 'Modern Guide to Music Publishing'.

What are the most common misconceptions or assumptions about publishing and royalties that you hear?

The most common misconception is songwriters thinking that because they have joined their home territory PRO (so for example PRS in the UK or BMI/ASCAP/SESAC in the States), that they're collecting all the royalties due to them. It's so much more complicated than that. To be sure you're collecting everything that you're due you want to be working with a publishing administrator who will proactively register your works with societies all over the world and collect your domestic and international mechanical and performance publishing royalties. If you don't have a publishing deal or a publishing administrator in place, then chances are you're leaving money on the table.

How can Songtrust help record labels?

Many independent labels large and small also have publishing arms to their businesses. Setting up a publishing arm can open up an income stream for the label whilst ensuring your artists collect everything they're due. It can also be helpful to be a one stop shop for sync. But of course, publishing administration is a complex world, so working with a partner like Songtrust is a great way to ensure your company is offering a world class publishing administration service to your writers. With Songtrust taking care of the administration, you're free to focus on the creative services that will benefit your writers.

What requirements would a label need to meet if they wanted to sign up with Songtrust?

If you decide to set up a publishing arm with Songtrust, we can take care of the publishing administration back end of your business, leaving you the freedom to focus on the creative services. It will be your responsibility to put in place the necessary agreements with your writers, and to handle the registration of your writers and their songs on the Songtrust platform, as well as to account payments through to your writers. If starting a publishing company, we recommend affiliating to a PRO (for example PRS in the UK), that way you are able to have the name of your publishing company appear in the chain of rights at the collection societies. Also, it is worth noting that if you are working with writers who are not already affiliated to a PRO, then they will need to affiliate in order for Songtrust to be able to collect on their behalf.

And after they've signed up, what happens next?

When a label or individual writer starts working with Songtrust, an account is opened and writer details are added (as well as bank and tax information, so we are able to pay the client). Then you need to add songs to the dashboard, so you need to have the correct split information and details of any co-writers. Once a song is added on the dashboard, we register it with our global network of societies and digital pay sources, and royalties are collected. It's important to be realistic about time scales in publishing, it's usually 9-12 months before international royalties are received.

As well as our great technology, Songtrust has a fantastic team of music publishing administration experts, so we're able to work closely with clients to ensure they're getting everything they are due and to resolve any song registration issues that may arise. Songtrust pays out quarterly to its clients and our clients can see exactly what royalties they're earning via our dashboard, and download royalty statements by writer.

Get 20% off the Songtrust registration fee by visiting their website and using the code 'labelworx' when prompted.
www.songtrust.com

 

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