What Exactly Is Publishing?
Publishing is the creation of a body of works which purpose may be for reproduction and distribution in exchange for a form of trade, in our world now that is money. In simple terms, when you write a song, either lyrically, sheet music or sound recording, you have published a body of work. When you write, record, and master a song or an album, essentially you are your own publisher. When you have released it to the masses you have published your work. Simply: making information available to the public.
In The Beginning
Publishing really took start at the beginning of sheet music and the reproduction's of songs and performances of musicals or plays. The earliest sheet music dates back to 1476 however Ottaviano Petrucci, a Venetian Printer and Publisher in the early 16th Century is considered the "Father of Modern Music Printing". Petrucci held a 20 year monopoly on music printing in Venice. It was invention of the mechanical method to reproduce sheet music that sparked the beginning of "Copyright Law". It was King Henry VIII - who granted printers legal protections in the form of licenses. It was later codified under the "Statute of Anne" in 1710.
Meanwhile, the French paved the way for our current understanding of Performing Rights with the creation of the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (SACD) in 1777 and is still hard a work today collecting royalties. Around 70 years later in 1851, the Société des Auteurs Compositeurs et editeurs de musique (SACEM), the first performance pay source was created after a group of composers successfully sued for payment after their performance at a café. This is extremely relevant today. At this time there was no recorded music. The reproduction's were live performances in theaters or halls. However music grew fast in popularity and the demand for sheet music took off.
PRO (Performance Rights Organizations)
Today there are many different Performing Rights Organizations across the globe and depending on what country you are in. For Canada there is SOCAN, USA has ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, MRI, AND MLC and many more across the globe. It should be the #1 priority for any songwriter. This is how you protect your songs and collect your royalties on a national level.
Although the publishing industry was growing, it certainly wasn't in the favor of the composers. Over 25,000 songs were being written and published every year but most of the earnings were not finding their way back to the pockets of the composers. The Copyright Act of 1909 helped with this, but the laws were often being ignore by the publishers completely. For most of the 20th century the situation for music creators was far less than ideal. Music creators would often give up all their ownership of their songs and take a lump sum of money just to make ends meet.
Over time, in the late 20th century the 50/50 co-publishing deal was the going deal, however slowly began to shift to 75/25 deals. The Publisher gets 50% of publishing , while the creator keeps 100% or ownership and 50% of publishing, thus in turn favoring the creator. The traditional publishing deal still exists and is in no danger going away anytime soon however, a new era of selling, streaming, distribution, and sharing has opened up the flood gates of new opportunities for independent artists to take more control of their publishing, recording and marketing. A #1 song can be written, recorded, and published right from ones bedroom with no help from a big label or publishing firm. That's the world we live in today. Artist actually have more power!
Creators rejoice! We live in times of International Administration Deals or Agreements. Personally I have a deal with Songtrust. They collect royalties for me from over 200 countries around the world. Not only that, they also handle all the paperwork for collection and publishing from country to country. I wouldn't even know where to start. They truly are great partners to have on the team. Anyone can do this. Yes there is a cost to it and a continued one at that but in opinion, well worth it. Traditional Publishing deals have come a long way now as well. Even us at KRZ Publishing recognize this. That's why I started this company, to be part of the awakening. We work with our artists to create a deal that works for them.
How Does Publishing Work For You?
Publishing gives artists another avenue for revenue, and a really great one at that! Song placement in T.V., Film, Games, etc. is playing a huge roll in the music industry. In turn, artists are getting noticed from placements which gains more fans and attracts the attention from big name play makers in the music biz. My own family members come up to me all the time asking about artists they hear on a beer commercial and they shazam it and boom, that artist has a new active fan. It usually isn't a "get rich quick" scheme but it certainly has the potential to be a steady income when the royalties start rolling in and new active fans begin to steadily purchase and support your music.
KRZ Publishing Agreements/Deals
KRZ Publishing agreements/deals are offered to artists free of any charge and is based entirely on placement. We don't get paid until you get paid! If your song(s) are selected for a publishing agreement/deal and provided you sign, we then work for you! We will do this by representing your music and pitching it to various Music Supervisors and projects currently in production. If your song(s) have been chosen for a agreement/deal opportunity then one of our representatives will contact you with different options for deals. One of the most amazing features we have rolled out is the Build-Your-Own Publishing Deal! We work with you the artist to design a Publishing Agreement that works for you!
Very soon we are rolling out a fantastic opportunity for independent artists and that is our PLATINUM MEMBERSHIP to our exclusive publishing club which will give artists an International Publishing Deal along with other amazing discounts, free swag, free music downloads, and endless amount of educational and career breaking courses, articles, and blogs.
KRZ Publishing is proud to be Canadian so we do concentrate a lot of our efforts to productions in Canada however we a part of a large network of American Music Supervisors so we apply to a lot of "jobs" (placements) however the competition to get a placement is much tougher. We also aim our efforts at certain writing or song competition, compilations projects, or co-writing opportunities. This often opens up doors to further career options.
KRZ is a publishing agent that represents independent artists. If KRZ is the right fit for you then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send us a song.
- Robert Zaharia