By Carina Westling

Source: Digital Music News

Thinking of inking a publishing deal?  The following important considerations come from Carina Westling of Imagem Production Music, one of the world’s largest production music companies.

Critical Question #1: Is Your Career Even Ready for a Music Publisher?

First of all, do you need a music publisher at this point in time and if so, what do you need them for?  If you have had some commercial success already, your priorities are likely to be different to those of someone just starting out.  By analyzing your situation you can work out your priorities at this point in time, which will be an important guide when looking for a publisher.

Critical Question #2: What Would You Need a Publisher to Do, Exactly?

If you are not the sort of musician who is likely to sell a lot of your music, it is important that you find a publisher who is experienced in getting music synched. On the other hand, a rock band would probably benefit from working with a publisher who can help pay for the recording of demos and have a strong track record of securing record deals – A&R teams who have a reputation for being interested in fresh talent often have this profile.

Your priorities matter hugely when you consider who you might contact within the companies you are interested in. If you are a songwriter or a band, identify the person within the A&R team that looks like the best person to contact first, but if you are primarily making production music you need to contact the person who is responsible for that.

Critical Question #3: What Sized Publisher Will You Need?

Your priorities should also guide your choices when you consider what size publishing company you want to work with. Large multinationals often find it easier to get synchs and have more power to enforce copyright, but you will be one of perhaps hundreds of thousands other artists that they also represent.

With a smaller publisher, you may get more attention and more responsiveness. In the case of choosing a smaller publisher, you should look into how they monitor usage and collect royalties internationally.

Critical Question #4: Is Your Target Publisher Tuned Into Your Genre?

Naturally, it is really important that the publishers you shortlist work successfully with your genre. It is not difficult to find out which other artists they work with, so do your research.

Critical Question #5: Is This a Good Publisher to Work With?

If you can get background information about how it is to work with the publisher from any of the artists, so much the better.

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