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What’s the Difference Between the Writer’s Share and Publisher’s Share?


Does it really matter?


Let’s begin by understanding that every composition (song) has two sets of rights: the writer’s share and the publisher’s share. As the copyright holder/creator, you inherently own both shares.

However, in some specific cases, you can choose to transfer all or some of those rights to a publishing company from the publisher’s share only. Composition royalties, which can include both perfomance and some mechanical royalties, have always been split this way. One half being sent to the songwriters directly (the writer’s share), while the other half is required to be collected by a publisher (the publisher’s share).

The terms of any agreement an artist has with their music publisher will then determine how much of that publisher’s share is retained by the publisher, with the remainder being paid to the copyright owner.

However, thanks to administration services like Dark Escapes Publishing, and others, you now have the option to retain 100% ownership of both your writer and publisher’s share, and still be able to get both sets of royalties without having to sacrifice that ownership.

By entering into an administration agreement, rather than a publishing or co-publishing deal, you maintain ownership of your rights as a copyright holder and instead, solely transfer administration rights in the publisher’s share to Dark Escapes Publishing so that we can collect your publisher’s share on your behalf.

Additionally, Dark Escapes Publishing has also begun collecting your writer’s share directly from a few sources, such as Amazon Prime Music and Google Play to name just a couple.

Having Dark Escapes Publishing collect your full amount directly means you get your money faster and there’s one less hand in your pocket taking a collection fee. Currently, we only collect directly from a few select sources as mentioned above. Therefore, the writer’s share royalties from other places will be delivered to the writer directly via the Performance Rights Organization (PRO) they are registered with.

If you release music in Australia, 100% of your mechanical royalties associated with your composition royalties are collected by the your publisher. If you have questions about mechanical royalties in other countries, shoot us a message via or click here.