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Royalties - Who's who and what do they do?

PRS are responsible for allocating royalties to songwriters and all music for PRS is registered using CatCo, a PRS funded tracking system. PRS reporting forms are sent by broadcast networks and music performance venues to notify PRS of when a song is broadcast or performed.

PPL are responsible for allocating royalties for recording credits and are also registered using CatCo.

MCPS are responsible for allocating royalties for mechanical reproduction of the recording. MCPS are now part of PRS and mechanical licenses can be applied for through the MCPS section of the PRS website. Royalties can be collected up to three years after the work has been used in whichever capacity.

Artist Management

The primary role of the artist manager is to lead a band/artist in achieving their goals using their vision, knowledge and contacts.

This position can operate on varying levels such as the professional manager, the “old pro”, enthusiastic amateur or the “mate” according to Will Ashurst in his book,
The Bands Guide to Getting a Record Deal”.

An artist manager is employed by an act to manage their career. This can include securing a record deal, publishing deal, booking agent, lawyer and be their central point of contact for all music business matters.

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Martin Bandier, chief executive of the music publisher Sony/ATV


In publishing, it is normal for these divisions to be fully formed companies operating under a music group umbrella. Some major publishing companies even have their own company umbrella such as Universal Music Publishing Group, who will own many different publishing companies as part of it’s publishing division arm. Universal Music Publishing Group is then part of a bigger company umbrella called Universal Music Group.

To get started in publishing there are publishing assistant positions, which are usually internships or entry level. Publishing is more academic in application and can cover a wide range of aspects including mechanical royalties, performance royalties, licensing and sheet music.

Music is published using platforms such as CD, DVD, TV, motion picture, advertising, computer games, ringtones, apps and many more. Music publishing is a fantastic area for anyone interested in Intellectual Property in music.

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