Fraud Blocker

Publishing Deal Vs. Recording Contract: Which One Best Suites You

*This article may contain links to affiliate products & services. We have reviewed these services to try and ensure the highest quality recommendations*

Written by Jaron Lewis

Artists looking to sign a contract with a label or publishing company need to understand the differences between the two. In order for you to understand, we have comprised a cheat sheet so that you can see a publishing deal vs. recording contract: which one best suites you.

What's A Recording Contract

record contract is a deal between a recording artist or group and a record label. The artist’s job is to create songs the record can promote and sell. In exchange, the record company supports the artists and gives them resources the artists will not otherwise have access to.

Pros Of Recording Contract

There are many pros to working with record labels, the most prominent being money. The more successful the recording label the more money they are likely to give you and they can use to help sell your records and spread your image. In addition, you are usually offered advances as and better resources to do video shoots, touring, recording among other opportunities. Then, there’s the people a label can connect you to.

This includes major players in the media from TV to magazines. This is where the power and size of an indie label really comes into play. Unlike indie record labels, mainstream labels have more connections and resources. They also are more likely to have big names signed to them. It’s common for labels to “piggy back” new artists on the reputation of established ones.

Cons Of Recording Contract

Unfortunately, large record labels have hundreds of artists and they can’t focus on all of them. In this case, you’re a small fish in a big pond and you need to do your best to stand out; otherwise, you will get left behind.

For brand new artists, some labels (big and small) may take advantage of you. Because they also own the songs you create, they can have more creative power over it. Lastly, staying relevant to the right people becomes very important. If your label doesn’t care for your sound anymore, you could find yourself left out in the rain.

What's A Publishing Deal?

A publishing deal is an agreement between artists and publishing companies. The company can claim your work, in exchange for promoting it. From here, the deal tends to go in a number of directions, however, we will only address the bare bones.  Publishing companies control several aspects of your work:

Performing Acts Rights – Royalties gathered from radio and digital streaming services.

Mechanical Rights – Royalties gathered when an artist covers one of your songs.

Synchronization – Royalties gathered when the song is played in commercials, movies or television.

Sheet Music – Royalties gathered when sheet music of a song sells.

Pros Of A Publishing Deal

Like record deals, the initial draw is money. With a publishing company an artist either could focus on their craft full time or only need to work part time, while focusing on their songs. They also offer resources to create professional recordings of your music.

Then there’s the connections they have access to in the media and otherwise. Lastly, song pluggers. These are people in charge of getting as many opportunities for your song as possible.

Cons Of A Publishing Deal

The internet is absolutely vital, but there are other ways to communicate. Check out what promotional items you can get your band or artist logo on, and how you can ensure it gets in the right hands.

Which Should You Look For?

If you’re a songwriter, publisher deals would be better for you. Record deals typically cover bands (that can include a songwriter) or performing artists. In addition, due to certain licenses and because of the benefits of performing arts rights organizations (which largely benefits songwriters), publishing deals will be more beneficial for songwriters.

When your song is ready to go, it's time to start promoting it to potential fans! Omari has the best organic promotion services money can buy. With packages for Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, we will get your music the traffic and attention it deserves! Click below for more information.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

How This INDIE Artist Got Over 67,598,275 Streams On ONE Song

Join the No-Nonsense Music Marketing Newsletter to get the most valuable weekly case studies and strategies to grow your music business!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.




*Here are some small samples of the playlists in our network. Obviously, we aren't able to share every single list for confidentiality reasons, but these are a handful of examples out of the hundreds of playlists we have in our network.*

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Contemporary Christian Music (33K Followers)

Louvores - Gospel (62K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Clean Rap & RNB (25K Followers)

Top Hits From New Artists (20K Followers)

Chill Music (38K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Today's Pop Hits (38K Followers)

Gaming Playlist & Workout Radio (23K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Forest Gump Soundtrack (50K Followers)

Stagecoach (15K Followers)

Best of Country Hits (2K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Acoustics For Relaxing (48K Followers)

Chill Music (9K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Hard Rock Workout (70K Followers)

Rock Hits (5K Followers)

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Funky Songs Playlist (190K Followers)

Clean Rap & RNB (10K Followers)

[EDM/Future Bass] Melvin - Luv Again

Playlists This Song Was Featured In

Top Hits From New Artists (20K Followers)

Electro-mania (6K Followers)

Best Workout Playlist (14K Followers)




[Hip Hop] K-Rich - We Workin  


[Hip Hop] Surve - Found My Way  

*Note: Songs may have ordered promotion from other sources as well. Small, medium, and large only denote the amount of promotion that was ordered from our service.  



With an already buzzing YouTube audience of over 400K+ subscribers, Kid Travis wanted his Instagram profile to start gaining some of that same traction.

While you can get some spill over audience from YouTube, Kid Travis knew that Instagram ad campaigns could boost his presence on IG even further!

He discovered that trying to run Instagram ads yourself vs. having us add our years of experience and expertise to them made a huge difference!

His main goal was to achieve new followers who are seriously interested in his journey as an artist.

Kid Travis already had amazing talent but needed to combine his music genius with some marketing expertise to get the best of both worlds.

We were able to bring out the heart of his music through paid ads by editing & optimizing his existing videos and properly researching and structuring his ad campaigns.

The end results: We were able to consistently and predictably gain followers averaging between $0.25-$0.35 per follower (including a bulk of the promotion being done in high cost English speaking countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Australia, & Canada) resulting in around 4,000 new, engaged followers/month on Instagram.

Kid Travis Instagram:

Kid Travis YouTube:

*Note: Previous campaigns are not a guarantee for results in future campaigns. However, we do our best to ensure each client gets the best results possible.