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When are splits done for a song?

The process of completing splits for a song can be simple or complicated. It's all about how many people receive a share of the song's publishing. 

The copyright for every song you write and record has two parts: the composition, which is the melody, lyrics, and music. And the sound recording, also known as the master, is the recording of the composition. The US government regulates music publishing, while the sound recording operates in a free market. 

Songwriters, producers, and artists get publishing. Playmakers get publishing as well, but it's looked down on in the creative community because songwriters only participate in the royalties from the publishing side of the copyright. In contrast, artists and producers participate in earnings from both sides of the copyright. Playmakers are people who help connect the dots. They can help get your song to artists, record labels, and music business executives; often, they are executives themselves. All of these things make the conversation around the process of completing splits super nuanced. 

Some prominent artists demand a significant share of publishing as a tax for working with them, which can complicate negotiating splits when there are a lot of writers and producers on the songs.

Having your splits completed for songs that aren't placed yet can be a helpful blueprint for the final splits once the song is placed on an artist. Songs may not get placed for years sometimes, so having splits on the unplaced songs in your catalog can be helpful for your future placements. 

So how do you broach the conversation to get your splits done with your collaborators once you've created a new song? 

Be proactive by initiating the execution of a split sheet. There's a blank split sheet PDF you can download on our website. Make sure to collect all your collaborators' info to complete the business on your song. 

Using a tool like the Split Card can be very helpful for sharing your info with your collaborators and their teams. The card includes your photo, publisher name, PRO name, IPI number, publishing PRO name, publishing IPI number, manager name and email, lawyer name and email, and social media handles. All the information you need to do splits, register the song with the PROs and complete the song's credits.