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Does TuneCore Split Royalties Between Artists?


Many musicians who want to increase their exposure and reach audiences all over the globe use TuneCore.

As a music distribution company, TuneCore helps thousands of artists worldwide by providing them with the tools they need to expand their reach.

And the exciting news for artists who use TuneCore is that they receive 100% of revenues while maintaining complete ownership of their music.

If you’re a musician who wants to reach a wider audience, TuneCore might be the way to go.

But, like many other artists who want to explore their distribution options, you might have some specific questions about TuneCore. For example, does TuneCore split royalties? 

We’ll answer this question in addition to other related questions so you can choose the perfect distributor for your music.

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Can You Split Royalties With TuneCore?

Yes. Each time a track is sold, played, or streamed, TuneCore sends the money to the musician, which is then distributed among the TuneCore songwriter accounts.

How the money is divided up should be outlined in the split agreement, which, for some musicians, involves creating and signing a split sheet. TuneCore users, on the other hand, simply have to complete an online form.

Is the Split Sheet Enough By Itself?  

One common misconception among artists that collaborate together is that signing a split sheet is all they need.

The reality is that split sheets are merely written agreements designed to make sure all individuals are on the same page about song contributions and ownership percentages.

A more comprehensive agreement is required to ensure the composition can be used properly.

Besides listing the names of all the parties involved, the split sheet outlines each party’s ownership percentage and contributions to a particular song.

It also includes detailed information about each individual, such as their date of birth, social security number, EIN number, physical mailing address, and publishing company information (if applicable).

Although these pieces of information might make the split sheet look like a highly comprehensive document, it fails to address the many important issues that could crop up when a composition is released – for example, its commercial value being severely undermined.

how set up splits TUNECORE

U.S. copyright law says that if there’s no formal agreement between the parties involved in a copyrighted work, such as a song, it’s assumed that all the parties are joint authors who have equal ownership of the composition.

This allows each owner to give out third-party licenses without the consultation or approval of the other owners as long as any profits that are generated are distributed among the other owners.

This scenario might be considered acceptable for some, especially in situations where each owner contributed equally to the song. However, in other cases, it can cause serious problems.

An example would be band members writing songs, signing a split sheet, and then ultimately breaking up.

In this case, each individual from the band could record/release the same music behind the backs of their former bandmates, which could turn into a nightmare situation.

Because of the potentially devastating possibilities, it’s extremely important to ensure that the right to give out third-party licenses for the completed song is clearly outlined and agreed upon in a formal contract, which a split sheet isn’t.

A split sheet fails to include many other potentially important elements, such as:

  • The right of publicity
  • The right to inspect and audit the business records of a co-owner
  • The right to request a proper accounting from the other parties
  • The right to proper credit or attribution on the completed work
  • Indemnifications or warranties by any of the owners to each other

Without these elements, owners could find themselves landing into some serious issues.

Yes, a split sheet can be helpful when it comes to keeping everybody on the same page and preventing some misunderstandings, but it should never be the be-all and end-all of a split agreement.

To make sure everyone is protected and all important issues are properly addressed, the parties should enter into a more formal, comprehensive agreement.

Thankfully, TuneCore addresses many of these issues and fills in many of these gaps, making the process relatively easy and seamless.

The songwriters and producers just have to fill out a form on TuneCore after every individual has created their own account on the platform.

tunecore multiple artists

How Do You Figure Out Someone’s Share? 

Also known as a “split,” your share is the amount of copyright you own for a particular song. If you wrote, for example, a song in its entirety, that means you own 100% of the composition and your share is 100%.

On the other hand, if you collaborate with a producer or co-writer or a team of individuals, that’s when ownership is split into multiple shares. How you split up ownership will depend on the negotiation between you and all the parties involved.

If there are two individuals working together – let’s say an individual writing the music and an individual writing the lyrics – they might have a 50/50 split.

The split looks similar with larger bands that split ownership percentage equally. In this case, if there are five members, each member receives 20%.

In lieu of a producer fee, some producers might ask for a percentage of your song publication.

The arrangement really depends on the agreement between you and all the individuals you’re working with.

Before you start earning any money, you need to make sure all the collaborators agree on the splits, and you can do that by filling out this form on TuneCore.

How Do You Register Multiple Individuals to Receive Payments? 

Each individual has to sign up and create their own account on TuneCore. This involves paying the one-time fee to set up the account.

Individual accounts must be opened because each songwriter and producer has to separately agree to the terms and conditions. Plus, each individual’s payments and royalty details will be displayed on their own portals.

After each individual has completed the signup process, each one will have to fill out a form.

What Should I Do if There’s a Split Change? 

producer SPLIT

This does happen sometimes. If it happens to you, you can simply get in touch with the TuneCore Artist Support team by visiting their “Submit a Request” page.

There you should select “Publishing Administration” from the dropdown list. After that, you can select the type of request you’re making, e.g., “Compositions,” “Publishing Royalties,” “Splits.”

Next, you’ll need to provide your email address, first name, subject, and country/territory. Lastly, you’ll have to enter the request details in the description field.

You should be as detailed as possible, providing information such as the song title and the new split arrangement. Giving as much information as possible, after all, will ensure a faster, more efficient split change.

Although there’s an option to include an attachment, this part isn’t required.

Lastly, hit “Submit,” and you can expect a member of the Support team to get in touch with you.

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