UCLA Music Business Certificate UCLA Music Industry Program UCLA Music Supervision Specialization

Music Publishing: A Creative & Business Perspective

IMPORTANT NOTE: These materials are for COURSE PURPOSES ONLY based on case studies and scenarios. They are not the actual plans for the discussed artists.

Course Description

This course taught the creative and business basics of music publishing. At the end of the course, a colleague and I presented how streaming has impacted artist & songwriter royalties in addition to songwriting itself (view the presentation here).

Course topics were as follows:

  • improving an artist/band’s chances of getting seen, heard, and signed;
  • how to ensure that an artist is not getting ripped off by learning United States copyright basics, copyright registration in Washington D.C., and co-writer and producer splits;
  • the functions of a music publishing company: song-plugging, advances, and copyright administration;
  • how to make sense of publishing deals and copyright assignment: exclusive songwriter agreements, co-publishing deals, and administration agreements;
  • how to get paid for your music and master recordings: mechanical royalties, performance royalties, synch fees, master-use fees, print royalties, new electronic transmissions, and foreign sub-publishing monies;
  • how and when to join important music organizations and societies: ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, Sound Exchange, and The Harry Fox Agency; 
  • how to start your own publishing company: self-publishing, music libraries, resource guides, and pitching your own music in film, TV, games, advertising, corporate videos, movie trailers, and DVD featurettes; and
  • the importance of the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), the Music Modernization Act (MMA), and more.

Final Presentation

How Streaming Has Impacted Royalties and Songwriting

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