On top of monetizing your songs through media like TV, advertising, and film, publishers are masters of making sure copyrights, song registration, and general admin are taken care of. Within that general admin comes making sure every detail of each artists’ submitted work is in tip-top shape. While you’re writing your next banger, it helps to keep everything in order as you go to make sure you don’t lose anything along the way. Among those key details, there are 5 main ones to make sure you have saved and ready to go. Let’s dive in…
5 Things You Need To Document For Every Song You Write
These are important to have on deck, as an artist might need them to cut the song or a music supervisor may need them for a film/tv placement down the line. Making sure you have them documented ahead of time saves the stress of locating them later if needed.
Great songwriting is the basis for some of the biggest hits ever created, and collaboration is one of the best tools to get them there. When it comes to joint songwriting, it’s important to decipher who will get credit for what before the song ever comes out.
Typically, this is done through Split Sheets. A split sheet is an agreement that identifies who wrote what percentage of the song such as the producer(s) and songwriter(s). Each creator has to agree about how the percentages are defined. Some artists will divide it evenly based on who is in the room writing and producing the song. Some will base the percentages on the person’s specific contribution lyrics, hook, melody, and beats.
When it’s time to copyright your music, it’s always a good idea to double check who gets what and how much.
Writer / Publishing Info
Writer and pub information is important for admin purposes when the song is registered. (For example, information like your PRO, IPI#, publishing name, etc.) If this data is broken, the writers don’t get paid and nobody gets the proper credit they deserve.
This one’s self explanatory, but keeping track of the DOC (aka date of creation) is a popular detail that may come up down the line. Take note!
It’s also important to have both an mp3 and a WAV version of your track on file. MP3’s are the most important, but if your song happens to get the opportunity to be placed in movies, TV, etc. (aka sync), a WAV will be required.
The takeaway here is to always be prepared for anything. The last thing you want is to be asked for a detail you don’t have and have no idea how to find it. With all these in order, you’re on the right track.