Publishing Administration FAQs

Will Symphonic collect my Publishing royalties if I don't enroll in the Publishing Administration service? 

No. To access this additional revenue, you must enroll in our Publishing Administration service. Publishing Administration is not included in your distribution deal; you must sign up for it separately. Please note that this service is exclusively available to songwriters.


What is the fee for Publishing Administration via Songtrust? 

Songtrust charges a $100 signup fee and a similar fee for each added controlled writer. Additionally, there is a 15% administration fee on the royalties collected.


Will you sign me up with a PRO?

No, we cannot sign you up with a PRO, as only the songwriter themselves can affiliate with a Performing Rights Organization.


Can I be affiliated with a PRO and use your Publishing administration service? 

Yes, you can. In fact, affiliation with a PRO is a prerequisite for using our Publishing Administration service.


What’s the difference between Songtrust and a PRO? 

Songtrust is a publishing administration company that collects royalties from various collective societies worldwide, including both performance and mechanical royalties. In contrast, a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) specifically collects performance royalties, divided into writer and publisher shares. If you use Songtrust for publishing administration, Songtrust will manage your publisher's share of performance royalties while you continue to collect the writer's share directly from your PRO.


Can labels sign up for publishing administration? 

Labels can sign up for publishing administration if they hold publishing rights. However, if their rights are limited to the sound recording/master, they cannot sign up for this service.


Do I need to register my songs directly with my PRO?

No. Once you become a client of our publishing administration, Songtrust will register any songs you add to your Songtrust account directly with your PRO. Just ensure you have access to your PRO account login information, especially if you need to update details like your mailing address.


Can I join Publishing Administration with Symphonic if I am with another publisher and/or publishing administrator?

Unfortunately, if you're already associated with another publisher or publishing administrator, you cannot join Publishing Administration with Symphonic. Additionally, having multiple administrators would complicate your royalty collection process rather than benefit you. We recommend considering our Songtrust royalty collection service to streamline and optimize your earnings.


Can I register cover songs through your publishing administration service? 

No, cover songs cannot be registered within your Songtrust account. Songtrust collects royalties on behalf of the original composition's owners and writers. You must be the original owner or writer to claim royalties on a composition. Since cover songs do not qualify as new, original material, you cannot collect royalties on the composition share of any cover works you record and release.


Can a band or group be signed up to Symphonic's Publishing Administration service? 

Band members are welcome to sign up for Symphonic Publishing Administration individually, but the service does not accommodate groups as a single entity. Since publishing administration is aimed at songwriters and composers—that is, the individual members who write songs—it's necessary for each band member who writes songs to register separately with Symphonic Publishing Administration.


Is my PRO my publisher?

No, a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) is not the same as a publisher. A PRO is responsible for collecting performance royalties on behalf of songwriters, publishers, and publishing administrators. 


How do I report set lists to my PRO?

You earn performance royalties whenever you perform your music live at eligible venues. This applies whether you're a DJ playing your own tracks or those of others; in both cases, you're earning royalties for yourself and for the songwriters of the tracks you play. This underscores the importance of marketing your songs to other DJs. When they play your music in their sets at clubs, it increases the performance royalties you can earn. Make sure to report these set lists to your PRO to ensure all performances are properly accounted for, and you receive the royalties you are due.


Can I register a song Symphonic did not distribute to the publishing administration service? 

Yes, you can register a song with our Publishing Administration service even if Symphonic did not distribute it. This includes songs sold on multiple releases, such as those released through a label or covered by another artist.


Should I register all of my songs, both old and new?

Yes, we recommend registering all of your songs—both old and new—with Songtrust. For new releases, ongoing registration ensures you capture all eligible royalties promptly. Regarding older songs, registering them can potentially recover past royalties. Different societies have varying rules and may hold unclaimed royalties for periods ranging from six months to five years. After these periods, unclaimed royalties are usually allocated based on market share by the societies. By registering old songs, you might still be able to claim any outstanding royalties before they are forfeited.


Can I still sign up if my record label claims to be the publisher of my songs? 

The ability to sign up with us depends on your contract's terms. If it explicitly states that the label owns a percentage of your composition and publishing rights, assumes the role of publisher, and handles all related administrative tasks and royalty collections globally, then you should not register the songs released under that label with us. However, if the contract does not clearly define these roles and you haven’t received any publishing royalties from them or your PRO, they likely aren’t your publisher, and we can serve as your publishing administrator for those songs. Always review your contractual obligations carefully before registering songs with our service.


Is there any discount available for companies wishing to add many songwriters? 

We consider discount opportunities on a case-by-case basis. If interested, please contact us directly for more information.


What is the MLC, and what do they do? 

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) was established in the US following the Music Modernization Act of 2018. This non-profit organization issues blanket licenses to digital service providers (DSPs), collects digital mechanical royalties from streaming, and distributes these royalties to songwriters and publishers. For more information about the MLC, click here!

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