An Advance, often known as ‘recouping’ is a financial part of the agreement where the publisher agrees to advance money to the songwriter before the publisher has collected any income. This is included usually where the songwriter needs funds now, rather than later, as the process of registration, licensing and collection can often take a year or more to come to fruition. Remember, if a publisher pays an advance, you won’t receive any royalties until the publisher has recouped whatever amount they’ve already provided to you as an advance and started to see their own profit.
The Split simply the share of income that both the publisher and songwriter will be entitled to. The percentage of these splits might range from 90/10 in favour of the songwriter to 50/50 which is more common when a company invests a large amount of money upfront to a songwriter as an advance against future royalties.
A Co-Publishing deal is where the publisher and the songwriter each own 50 percent of the copyright, agreeing to share the income from the copyright on an equal 50/50 basis.
An Administration Deal is where the publisher agrees to service the writer by collecting all sources of income and handling all aspects of administration on a commission basis without a share of the copyright. Typically, the commission will range between 5 and 25 percent.
The Term defines how long the agreement lasts for and literally could be anywhere from six months to forever. In publishing, this is of course extremely important as you’ll be stuck with this agreement for the duration of this term.
The Territory is the area covered, the countries where the agreement is binding. It’s common to have a worldwide agreement, but sometimes a deal might be restricted to particular countries, such as when a publisher negotiates an exclusive deal solely for Japan or the UK
Minimum Delivery Commitment (MDC) is the amount of material or songs that a songwriter is required to deliver for commercial release during the term of an agreement. Based on 100 percent ownership of the song, a songwriter who agrees say to an MDC of five songs will be required to deliver 10 songs if they only write the music and thus get only a 50 percent share of the song. This is a common occurrence since most songwriters specialise in either writing the music or the lyrics, but not both.