One of the greatest skills that can artist can have is the ability to write and record their own songs, as well as collaborate with other fellow artists. But when there’s a lot of chefs in the kitchen cooking up a new song, it’s important to have a contract that spells out what each person is owed. This is where a songwriter split sheet comes into play!
This split sheet, also known as a royalty split agreement, is essentially a contract between you and your collaborators on how to split the shares of a song, once you start making revenue from it. There’s no “correct” way to format a songwriting split sheet, but it generally has everyone’s name, signature, contact information, and any industry or licensing information that’s necessary. By pulling this contract out at the beginning of your creative process, it’ll save you time and headaches later.
The top question on your mind might be, “Doesn’t all this business stuff crush the creative process?” And we’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to! When you sort all of these details at the get-go while the iron’s hot, then you won’t have to worry about it at all once it’s time to publish. Artists typically split 50-50 for songwriting splits, but you can absolutely determine if one person should get more than the other.
This way, you can proceed down that creative path without worrying over creative rights to the song. Or, even worse, consider legal action to defend your share against your collaborators.
Have you ever been told by a parent to share that ice cream with your sibling, but you secretly take a bigger bite so they get slightly less? Yeah, we want to avoid that with your songwriting collaborators. By utilizing a clear-cut split sheet, the details of the royalty split agreement are in plain black and white. It’s also recommended that you collect each other’s contact information and performing rights organization information before your proceed.
When the process goes smoothly for you and your collaborators, this makes the possibilities of future collabs even more exciting. Plus, if word gets around that you’re easy to work with, no-nonsense, and a fair songwriter, it can open the doors to other songwriting gigs you hadn’t thought of before. By keeping a fresh template of the royalty split agreement on hand, you’ll always be prepared when someone comes forward with a new project.
If you’re thinking, “Oh man, I wish I could just print this out so I wouldn’t have to make a new one every time,” you’re in luck! Not only do we have a totally free songwriter split sheet you can download, but we’ll also throw in a free copy of our cue sheet for sync placement and a work-for-hire agreement that you can use in all your freelancing or collaborations.