Music publishing is what we do

The core of our activities is music publishing. The company name as publisher is Chance MEDIA Pty Ltd, which trades as Chance MUSIC.

In the music industry, music publishing is the centre of everything. Songs written and recorded are what makes the business part exist. It’s a one way street too, as without songs there is no music business at all, as it can’t work the other direction.

That is why writers are the most important people as Chance MUSIC sees it. Everyone in music has their jobs to thank them for. It is why we centre our business around writers, and are thankful to them.

Our approach and business is focused on writers.

Why we have a record label as a publisher

Chance MUSIC Label only exists to serve our writers. It is exclusively available to them as an optional release path. It may be used to release back catalogue not available our writers have songs on. Or perhaps a writer has songs they can’t find a label for. They can use our label to release and get the songs into the market place.

That’s not to say we let writers release anything. We provide the support to make sure they are at release standard. Once songs are available, anything can happen, yet if not then nothing will.

The days of record companies reviewing demos have mostly passed. It’s only what happens in the music market that attracts interest these days, so releasing music is essential to any writer to progress.

Equally, there’s no requirement for writers to use the label. Given the choice, we do prefer a label in the business of being one, to handle any and all releases of our writers’ works.

Why we have management as a publisher

Same applies to Chance MUSIC Management. It only exists to assist writers in need of management expertise we have. In the event a management company is in place, or one is interested in that role we will always encourage that, and assist them from a publisher role.

Much of what we do to help writers is often seen as a management function. Best example is we can contact major labels we know to bring their attention to something we signed publishing rights to. We keep informed on those do it well, and those to avoid.

Writer “self publishing” is mostly a myth

There is a common myth among writers they are “self publishing”. No such thing exists in reality. Briefly this is why it is mostly a myth.

Performing rights societies (PRS) only collect performance publishing income. After joining a PRO as a writer member, and registering all works with the PRO, the performance royalties can flow through global collections. Things like radio play and live shows generate performance income which are some of the publishing income streams.

A writer wanting to publish their own works needs to first set up a company. Secondly, apply to be a publishing member of a mechanical collection society (MCS). They are the ones who collect mechanical royalties from downloads, synchronisation in film, TV or ads, and issue licenses to performers to make a cover version of a song.

These are just examples in the publishing bundle of rights that MCS license and collect for. Unless a writer who is a member of a PRS is also a member of a MCS via a company, a writer cannot self publish.

Why a writer needs a publisher

The USA has a different set of copyright laws to other territories known as U.S.C. Title 17. So theoretically as said above, a writer can publish their own works. Yet, they do need to be able to know how it is done, in each territory and in particular the USA, to do it properly. It would also result in a writer having no time to actually write.

Without signing the songs with a publisher the full range of income streams a writer is entitled to, will not be collected or payable.

Each MCS and PRS are collectively in contact with millions of companies that pay to use music. It’s a logistic impossibility for a writer or publisher to do that directly. A publisher grants a “blanket license” to both the MCS and PRS to license on its behalf.

Each MCS and PRS collect and licence music users in their territory, and also get and send royalty payments to each other. The royalties are then paid to each publisher or writer member of an MCS or PRS.

Until songs are signed to a publisher, they are unpublished in regard to collecting all potential royalty income. Releasing does not make songs published. Signing the song to an actual publisher like Chance MEDIA Pty Ltd that trades as Chance MUSIC does.

Chance MUSIC publishing operates globally

Chance MUSIC is a publisher member of AMCOS and APRA in Australia where we are based, being the MCS and PRS respectively. We also take care of the the day-to-day administration of works that is quite complex, and we do it globally.

The USA is the main one that differs to everywhere else. SESAC in the USA is by invitation only and we were asked and accepted to be a publisher member some years ago. We are also a publisher member of the Harry Fox Agency, the main and oldest MCS in the USA.

Another big difference in the USA, compared to other places who have just one PRS and MCS, it the USA has several. Two other well known ones in addition to SESAC, are ASCAP and BMI, both are also a PRS.

How we report and account for royalties

The Chance MUSIC Royalty Database (CMRdb) is our custom built SQL database. It takes in data, currency converts, divides up streaming and downloads, calculates US mechanical royalties and generates monthly reports for writer publishing royalties, and record label income.

The CMRdb outputs detailed reports for songs and type of income. It also outputs data files of published works for others, to keep our catalogue up to date in external royalty collection databases. The CMRdb is a proprietary, globally unique system of industrial grade.

Conclusion about music publishing

Music publishing is the most complex area of the music business and also at the very heart of it. We continue to learn every day and don’t pretend to know everything.

Yet we know from interactions we do know and understand what needs to be done. We act on behalf of our writers to best of our ability, and actively keep up-to-date on changes in technology and copyright law.

If we make an offer to you as a writer, be assured we love your music and we will make sure everything is done to give you the best opportunities to pursue your music career.