Top 3 features to look for in a music publisher

June 11, 2024

As the music industry continues to evolve, the role of music publishers has expanded significantly beyond mere administration of works and issuing advances. Today's top publishers offer a plethora of assets that are crucial for producers looking to advance their careers. Here’s an overview of what to expect from a high-quality publisher, based on my extensive experience with ArtistConnect.

Valuable Assets Provided By Publishers

Studio Spaces: Access to studio spaces is invaluable, especially for professionals who prefer in-person collaborations with songwriters and artists. This can save a considerable amount of money compared to renting spaces independently. It’s important, however, to discuss with the publisher the realistic availability of these studios, as they can often be overbooked due to a large roster.

Networking Opportunities: A robust network is something most publishers will offer, providing connections to relevant industry figures. My advice is to speak with producers already in the publisher’s network to gauge the frequency and value of these connections. Despite promises, the effectiveness of a publisher's network can vary greatly.

The Importance Of The Right A&R

When signed to a publisher, you will usually work closely with an A&R representative. This person doesn't need to have the largest network, but they should have a deep belief in your music and a commitment to your career. For instance, I once collaborated with an A&R named Ben who, despite being new to the scene, was incredibly dedicated. His commitment was inspirational and led to significant achievements for our producers. You should also talk openly with your potential A&R about how big his producer roster already is and how much time he still has available for you.

Negotiating Fair Terms

In publishing, it's fortunate to receive offers from multiple publishers simultaneously. For instance, if UMPG has made you an offer, you should also request one from SMP, as they are likely interested as well. Once you have multiple offers on the table, you can approach your preferred publisher and ask them to match the best offer you received. Although this process sounds straightforward, it is a practical strategy often used, especially by producers who are well-versed in the industry. It's difficult to determine which splits are appropriate for you. However, as a rule of thumb, as your catalog grows, so does your negotiating power. You should aim for better splits with each new contract you secure. If you are early in your career, please be cautious about accepting large advances, because if you don't recoup them, they can lock you into longer-term agreements that might prevent you from renegotiating for better terms sooner.

About Us

Through ArtistConnect, we have established a management company called Sonar, which includes divisions like Sonar A, focusing on German producers collaborating with German artists, and Sonar X, dedicated to placing loops from international loop makers in the US market with big-name artists. We are proud to have multiple #1 and platinum-awarded producers on our roster.

For further inquiries or to submit an application for management with some beats/loops, please contact us at