In order to determine royalty split or share split in a song there are no set rules as such. It is important that all the writers decide on the split and do a written co-writers agreement. It is never a good idea for anybody else to decide the share split other than the writers themselves.
One can come up with parameters which may be used for deciding on the share splits but they are generally individual preferences. Below are some examples:
- The writers can decide to have an equal split to keep things simple.
- Depending upon the contribution (e.g. who wrote the verse/chorus/top line/hook etc) the share split can be arrived at.
- If one of the songwriter is quite established, they can negotiate a much higher share percentage.
- Another way of deciding the shares can be by calculating the total contribution of each writer in terms of how many minutes their parts are used in the song. The share will be proportional to the fractions of the total duration of the song.
As one can see from above that there are no set rules in determining the share split for a co-written work.
Jataneel Banerjee is a Composer, singer and Music Producer. He founded 'Phoenix Session', an A&R platform to discover unsigned artists for his record label 'Music Mandi'. He established 'Grand Philharmonic Orchestra' and worked on some very high profile shows in UK and abroad. As the membership development manager in PRS, he is proactively establishing and managing relationships between South Asian writers/publishers and PRS for Music.