Music Publishing 101
You’re owed royalties every time a song you’ve written is performed or played publicly. That means:
Live performances - festivals, gigs
Public performances - bars, clubs, shops, restaurants, gyms, waiting rooms etc.
Broadcast - TV, film, radio
Streaming - Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube etc.
These royalties are collected by Performance Rights Organisations (PROs). In the UK, these are
PRS and MCPS.
There is over £2.5 Billion publishing royalties unclaimed globally due to failures in the collection chain.
A publisher’s most fundamental role is to make sure PROs are collecting the right amount in the right territories. There are over 60 PROs worldwide and they all work slightly differently. None are very quick, and some are pretty slow.
For UK royalties, it usually takes between 12-18 months for a PRO to collect these on your behalf. For international PROs, you can add another 6-12 months on top of that.
At the very least, publishers should register all your songs, sort out any issues and investigate any discrepancies. Then they should also work their socks off to help promote, develop and progress your career.