Music Publishing 101

Author: Eric Beall | Course Code: OMBUS-270

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Authored by the former Vice President, Creative at Sony/ATV Music and current A&R executive for Shapiro Bernstein, Music Publishing 101 provides a step-by-step guide to setting up your own publishing company, including administration of copyrights, the role of performance rights organizations, and preparing a functioning accounting system for your catalog. You'll develop your own publicity plan, submit your songs to the instructor for critique, and register your songs with the copyright office. You'll also learn how to market and promote your compositions and writers by developing effective pitch and promotion strategies, and discover how to turn that stack of demos and lyrics in the closet into a real, independent business.

Lesson 1: The Fundamentals: "What Is Music Publishing, Anyway?"

Greet and MeetWhat is Music Publishing?The Five Functions of a Music PublisherExamples of the FunctionsA Quick History of Music PublishingQuiz: Who Ya Gonna Call?Assignment: Market LeadersThe Writer/Publisher RelationshipAssignment: Make a Deal

Lesson 2: The Financial Structure of Music Publishing: "Show Me the Money"

Where the Income Stream Begins…Assignment: Income Sources of One SongWhere the Income Stream LeadsAssignment: Royalties of One SongWhere the Income Stream EndsAssignment: Distribute the MoneyConclusion: The Big PaybackAssignment: Advance

Lesson 3: Understanding the Catalog: "It All Starts with the Song"

"Do You Own the Songs?"NegotiationAssignment: Song Split Case StudyDo You Still Own the Songs?SamplingInterpolationsTranslations and Adaptations"Can You Find the Songs?"Assignment: Post Two Song Submittal Forms"Are These Songs Any Good?"Assignment: Assess One Song in Your CatalogAssignment: Billboard Predictions

Lesson 4: The Basics of Business: "Start Me Up"

Choosing a Business Structure: "What Am I?"Assignment: Select a Business StructureChoosing the Office: "Where Am I?"Gearing Up: What Do I Need? (Page 2)Designing a Web Site: What Do I Do?Discussion: Choose Your OfficeInformation Is Power: What Do I Know?Discussion: Research the ResourcesMaking a PlanWhere Are You Going?One Final CaveatAssignment: Book Quiz

Lesson 5: Setting Up Systems

Managing the MusicDigital ArchivingCommon ConcernsDistributing the MusicAssignment: Develop an Archiving SystemManaging the AdministrationAccounting SystemsAssignment: Financial Management Case StudyConclusion: The First Line of DefenseAssignment: Copyright DisputeOne Last Thing...Dan Coleman Interview Part 2

Lesson 6: Building a Team : "You Got to Have Friends"

"Get Me My Lawyer!!"Payment StructuresFinding a LawyerAssignment: Find Three LawyersA Writer's Best FriendPROs ContinuedA Global PerspectiveAssignment: Find Your FriendsInternsDeveloping Your Contacts: Music ConventionsAwards ShowsSongwriter and Music Business OrganizationsAssignment: Choose Your Smooze FestsAssignment: Let's Count Our FriendsPeter Bliss Interview

Lesson 7: The Art of Exploitation: "Getting the Music Right"

The Constructive CriticThe Song Quality ChecklistConstructive CriticismAssignment: Post One Song from Your Catalog"Hits Only, Please"Discussion: Reassess the Song's Hit Potential"Demo Do's and Don'ts"What Works and What Doesn'tRedemoingAssignment: Redemo a Song"It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Right"ChallengesThe Wise Weasel's CredoDiscussion: Potential Collaborations

Lesson 8: The Art of Exploitation: Getting the Music Out

Looking at the LandscapeAssignment: Identify Your Market FocusWho's Looking?Who Are These People and How Do I Get to Them?Contacting People in the IndustryAssignment: Identify the Personal Contacts in Your MarketHere Comes the Pitch…Discussion: Song PitchHelping HandsConclusion: "The Soft Sell"

Lesson 9: The Art of Exploitation: Moving the Writer Up

Getting the Writers In: The Art of AcquisitionA Quick Reminder: What You're Acquiring and Deal StructuresDeal Duration and MoneyContractsAssignment: Identify Two SongwritersThe Hype MachineFour Rules of Star-Making: Rule #1Four Rules of Star-Making: Rule #2Four Rules of Star-Making: Rule #3Assignment: Put Together Your Publicity StrategyTiming Is Everything: Rule #4Assignment: Identify One Publicity Opportunity in the Next Three MonthsFriends in High PlacesDiscussion: CollaborationA Moment of Inspiration

Lesson 10: Getting the Money In: "You Get What You Give"

Confronting Contemporary PressuresKnowing What You HaveDurationTerritory and Alterations/AdaptationsSpecial Uses and First UseAssignment: Define Publisher's Rights in License"License Please"Mechanical LicenseSynchronization LicenseSpecial UsesAssignment: Identify Licenses for Various UsesThe Bones of Contention: Mechanical LicensesThe Bones of Contention: Sync LicensesThe Bones of Contention: 360 DealsAssignment: Find the Most Profitable WriterYou Get What You Bargain ForUse the Tools Available

Lesson 11: Getting the Money In: "Help Is on the Way"

The Mechanics of Mechanical CollectionCollection Option #1: Going DirectCollection Option #2: Going with the Big GuysCollection Option #3: Going With the Not-So-Big GuysA Quick Diversion on Dealing with DigitalCollection Option #4: Going With An AdministratorAssignment: Collecting Your Mechanical Income"I Hear Music in the Air"Assignment: Choose a Performing Rights Society"All Around the World"Stick with Who You Know.One size (large) fits all.Go with the locals.Buffet or à la carte?Assignment: Find an Approach for International EarningsConclusion: Subpublishers

Lesson 12: Protect and Defend: Protecting Your Copyrights

Understanding the Threat: "Where Evil Lurks . . . "Protecting the Jewels: "Lines of Defense"Assignment: One Last Pop QuizThe Circle of FriendsThe Three Secret Weapons of Negotiating: 1. KnowledgeThe Three Secret Weapons of Negotiating: 2. PatienceThe Three Secret Weapons of Negotiating: 3. FlexibilityThe Outer LimitsStop, Look, and ListenAssignment: NegotiationThe Dangerous New FrontierThe Death of Mechanical IncomeThe Folly of FreeThe End of the World As We Know ItGet On BoardGet Your ShareGet Into Greener PasturesAssignment: Identifying Potential DangerRegistering Your Copyrights: The Claim to FameWhat's the Point?Registering OnlineThe Berne ConventionExercise: Register Songs in the Copyright Office

Eric Beall


Eric Beall is the author of "Making Music Make Money (An Insider's Guide To Becoming Your Own Music Publisher)" and a respected music industry veteran, having held senior Creative posts at Zomba Music, Jive Records, and Sony/ATV Music. Currently, he handles A&R for Shapiro Bernstein, one of the industry's most venerable and respected independent music publishers. In his role as a music publishing executive, Eric has signed and developed top writers like Stargate, Steve Robson, Billy Mann, Steve Diamond, Richard Julian and many others. At the same time, in his role at Jive Records and Zomba Music, he has coordinated and directed Zomba writers in the development of material for Jive Records superstars like Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, and Britney Spears.

Prior to joining the executive ranks, Eric wrote and produced the pop hits "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" for Joey Lawrence (Top Ten Billboard Hot 100) and "Carry On" for Martha Wash (#1 Billboard Dance Chart), as well as songs for Diana Ross, The Jacksons, Safire, Samantha Fox, Brenda K. Starr, and many others. He also co-founded Class-X Recordings, an independent dance label in New York.

Jon Bonci


Jon Bonci has an extensive and varied career that spans music publishing, video production, television, and education. He has been the Creative Director, East Coast for BMG Music Publishing, Creative Manager at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, and is currently handling licensing and creative roles for Shapiro Bernstein & Co., Inc. He has also worked as a producer, videographer, and editor for his own video production company, as well as taking the role of Executive Director for Local TV in Easthampton, NY , overseeing the public, education, and government access channels there. With a Bachelor of Arts in Music from SUNY Oswego and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Lehman College, Jon has also taught elementary school as both a teaching assistant and substitute teacher.

Alexa Cabellon


Alexa Cabellon is a music publishing professional with a background in global songwriter and publisher royalties, digital music licensing, and copyright administration. Currently, Alexa is the Sr. Manager, Royalties and New Media at the legendary independent music publishing company, Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc., where she ensures proper payment of royalties to songwriters and implements new deals with digital licensees. Alexa is the lead singer/songwriter of her Brooklyn-based band, Little Anchor, and holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Business from New York University.

Making Music Make Money: An Insider's Guide to Becoming Your Own Music Publisher by Eric Beall

An insider's view of the music publishing business, and practical tips toward helping writers effectively assume their rightful role as a publisher of their own music.

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Next Term Starts June 27

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