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Why Sign With A Music Publisher?

Why Sign With A Music Publisher?

By Marc Caruso

These days there are a plethora of tools, technologies and online services that allow songwriters to publish their own songs. So why sign with a music publishing company when you can seemingly do it yourself? Here are just a few of the reasons why going it alone may not always be the best choice.


When you decided that music was your career calling, you had big dreams of issuing license paperwork, negotiating rates, chasing down cue sheets, collecting fees, and reconciling accounting statements, right? You didn’t? Well then a music publisher will do all those things so you can be free to do what you really love and should be doing: writing music, playing shows if you’re also an artist, and engaging with your fans.


Music publishers have built their businesses on relationships. Relationships songwriters may not have the time or the ability to create on their own. These relationships help create opportunities to place your music with recording artists, synced in films or television shows, or to write with other songwriters and producers. Real opportunities that may fuel growth for your music and your career. Relationships you may not be able to foster yourself or by using an online publishing administration service.


Speaking of which, online companies have no vested interest in you, the songwriter. They simply collect some of your royalties on your music that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to collect. Most publishers, on the other hand, invest human and economic resources into your creative growth as a writer. A publisher can provide feedback on new songs or works in progress, send you briefs to spur new writing ideas, as well as set you up with co-writes to help you grow through collaboration. Many publishers also hold songwriter boot camps and other writing workshops where there are opportunities to hone and develop your craft.