From rights to royalties: Music publishing deals explained

H_art the Band's founder and lead singer Mordecai Mwini just signed a lucrative deal with Sol Generation on a 3 year publishing deal.


H_art the Band's founder and lead singer Mordecai Mwini just signed a lucrative deal with Sol Generation on a 3 year publishing deal.

Reacting to the news, the vocally talented musician commented on a post by Sol Generation welcoming him to the team by writing, "Thank you fam. Exciting stuff... twende kazi," accompanied by an emoji of the Kenyan flag and rockets.

Mordecai's move to Sol Generation has left his fans and netizens widely confused especially on what this means for his band mates at H_art the Band.


The group has an Australian tour coming up among a few things...

So this got us thinking, what exactly is a publishing deal?

A music publishing deal is a contractual agreement between a songwriter or composer and a music publishing company. In this agreement, the songwriter grants certain rights to the publisher in exchange for various services and benefits. These rights typically include the right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and license the songs.


Best part of it all?  These deals are as flexible as a jazz improvisation, allowing you to keep your day job (or your night job if you're more of a nocturnal maestro) while still pursuing your passion for music.

So Mordecai still gets to create music with his band members while still generating content for Sol Generation. It's a super win-win for him.

Keep in mind, this is different from Music publishing itself. Music publishing is the business of promotion and monetization of musical composition.

Music publishers work to ensure songwriters receive royalties for their compositions, and also work to generate opportunities for those compositions to be performed and reproduced.

So, what's in it for you, say you sign a publishing deal? Well, let's break it down like a funky bassline:

Rights Transfer: You're basically passing the mic to the music publishing company, granting them certain rights to your compositions. Think of it as letting them groove to your beats while you sit back and collect the royalties.


Royalty Collection: Cha-ching! The publishing company becomes your musical money manager, collecting royalties from all corners of the industry – public performances, recordings, TV, film, commercials, you name it. It's like having your own personal ATM for your tunes.

Promotion and Marketing: Consider the publishing company your hype squad, spreading the word about your compositions like wildfire. They'll pitch your songs to artists, producers, and media outlets faster than you can say "hit single."

Creative Support: Need a little inspiration? The publishing company has your back, offering creative support to help fine-tune your compositions and connect you with fellow musical minds. It's like having a jam session with the pros.

Advances: Show me the money! In some cases, the publishing company might front you some cash upfront – consider it an advance on your future royalties. It's like getting paid to play your own tunes.

Ownership: Don't worry, you still call the shots. While the publishing company may have their hands on the reins, the ownership of your songs typically stays with you. Think of it as renting out your musical mansion – you're still the landlord.

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