If you can’t cover the funds to produce and manage your music career, then you, as a startup, will need to start with seed funding. You can start your own business as a music therapist or even offer your services in places like nursing homes. For those who are also visually oriented, you can start a business as a music video director for artists. You can start submitting your own music or register other artists and their music.
For those whose musical talents are more in singing than playing instruments, you can also start a business working with clients as a vocal tutor. If you are a good dancer, you can start your own dance choreography business where you will provide dance services to performers and the like. If you have access to a decent amount of musical instruments, you can start a business by offering to rent these instruments to other musicians.
Establishing professional relationships, learning what artists are recording and what songs they are looking for, arranging meetups to present songs, and taking care of additional needs of a music publisher can be a full-time job. A music publishing house should have an effective staff of professional managers (those who promote songs) who not only know what the artists are recording and what material is needed for a particular session, but also have a good working relationship with the A.&R record company’s music management, producers , recording artists and managers.
A publishing deal can provide a pipeline for songwriters to record as a successful artist, and can provide them with other opportunities to distribute their compositions to the world where they can be monetized. Publishers represent the writer’s works, creating as many opportunities and revenue streams as possible with their help; facilitate release on labels, achieve radio play, get artists to write together on other tracks (which creates new compositions to use), license a selection of songs to use in other songs (sampling), sync with media such as commercials, TV and movies, and various other methods. Publishers are interested in using the works they submit because they get a share of the copyright or control over it.
In terms of song ownership, the publisher usually gets a 50% share of the track. Under industry rules, the collective publishing rights of a musical work are split 50/50 between the melody (i.e. the main melody, usually the lead vocal) and the lyrics. Sometimes the artist’s manager or producer will expect a joint credit or share of the publication (as with Norman Petty and Phil Spector), and sometimes the publisher will insist on a writer’s credit (as Morris Levy did with many of his performances); these practices are listed in order of increasing thoroughness, as considered by the music industry. Whenever someone can listen to music, such as during a live broadcast, on radio, television, or the Internet; the music is considered to have been performed publicly and the performance rights belong to the composer/lyricist and publisher.
Songsharks does not profit from sales royalties, but by charging inexperienced writers “services” (some real, such as demo recording or musical arrangements, others fictitious, such as “listening” or “reviewing” fees) to the publisher, free for the writer as part of his job.