Music Business

SongTown Say Whaaaa? Sometimes Songwriting Can Be A Crazy Music Business!

by Clay Mills
Jan 29, 2017

In today’s episode of sometimes songwriting can be a crazy music business…

I recently got an email from a talented SongTownian who asked me if it was a good idea to sign a contract that allowed his co-writer to negotiate contracts on their song on his behalf. AND give the co-writer 100% of the publishing on any deal made.

Say WHaaaaaa??????

I had to read that twice!! Did I really just read that someone wanted a SongTownian to sign this?

I have been songwriting professionally for 25 years and have NEVER had a co-writer ever attempt to take control of my negotiating power! When a song is co-written, each person owns and controls their portion of the song separately!

First of all, your mechanical and performance royalties are set by the US Congress and Rate Court.

So, there is no negotiating for those royalties. That leaves TV and Film and a variety of other sync fees that can be negotiated. What if the person negotiates a bad deal for you? Worse yet‰… gives up your rights for FREE and costs you potentially thousands of dollars down the road.

Secondly, what if the person places a song as music promoting a product you’re not comfortable within this crazy music business?

Maybe you don’t want your song promoting the latest adult film or hemorrhoid cream????? Therefore, giving up 100% control and publishing is not in your best interest.

**Of course, I am no attorney and this is not meant to take the place of any needed legal advice. But, I do call it out like I see it!

In conclusion, sometimes songwriting is a CRAZY business. But, it need not be if you educate yourself!

Write on! ~CM

Clay Mills

Clay Mills

Clay Mills is a 16-time ASCAP hit songwriter, producer, and performer. He is the co-founder of SongTown and has 2 Grammy nominations for “Beautiful Mess” by Diamond Rio and “Heaven Heartache” by Trisha Yearwood. Clay is also the co-author of Mastering Melody Writing and The Songwriter’s Guide To Mastering Co-writing.


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