IN THIS SECTION
Types of Publisher
There are various specialist areas of publishing and the larger companies cover them all. For some composers/songwriters it might be more advantageous to work with a smaller company which caters specifically to their needs.
Some of the different publishing areas are listed below:
Essentially all publishers are commercial publishers, but within the industry this term is used to distinguish this branch of publishing from companies specialising in production music.
Library/Production music publisher
Production music, which is also known as library music, tended to be associated with what was played in elevators, but these days it cuts across all genres and includes everything from classical to hip-hop and jazz. The key difference to other areas of publishing, is that this music is made available specifically for audio visual use in films, advertisements and broadcasts. In the case of Imagem Production Music, some 40,000 media professionals have access to this music library and in exchange for a fee, are free to use compositions without having to seek permission from the writer. This means that the composer/songwriter waives 'moral rights' in terms of who uses the compositions, but because the process for being able to use the music is very simple, it also means that the work might have a higher chance of being selected.
A library publisher will secure the writer an advance for the composition, and in the UK royalties will be collected and distributed by MCPS and PRS.
A buyout publisher targets the same client base as the library publisher, but buys out the rights to the mechanical royalties in return for a flat fee paid to the composer/songwriter, who will then only receive PRS royalties where they are applicable. It is worth noting the buyout publisher will also sell the music for use in areas where no performance royalties are payable, for example corporate videos. Moreover, if the music is used on a 'sampled' rather than a 'census' broadcaster, the likelihood of receiving PRS royalties is very slim.