What Are Split Sheets? Do You Need Them?
A publishing split sheet (often referred to as a “split sheet”) is a document that clarifies who wrote/composed a specific percentage of a song recorded by an artist. Essentially, it helps music collaborators identify their ownership/share of a song.
Ideally, this sheet should be created for every song you write (or have a hand in writing), before ever shopping it to a third party to be published commercially. It's best if you complete the sheet before the studio sessions are complete, when the contributions are fresh in each person's mind.
Many creators shy away from the “business stuff” associated with the music industry because their main focus is the creative process. However, as musicians, you need to be able to identify what is yours and what percentage of profits you and other involved parties are entitled to receiving. The times of confusion regarding appropriate compensation, with regards to the contribution, are dead and gone. It is your responsibility, as a creator, to know what you deserve so that you’re not taken advantage of. Understanding and utilizing split sheets is your first line of defence.
If you write and compose all your music all by yourself, this stuff doesn’t really apply to you (but it can’t hurt).
Split sheets ensure that creators are adequately compensated for their contributions. With them, in place, the contributory partners can avoid receiving incorrect revenue for what they created. These split sheets require the creators involved to establish agreed-upon ownership percentages, in writing for the reference of all parties involved.
Now that you know what split sheets are good for, you should start using them, and you’re in luck! We created a split sheet template that you can download for free to use for your songs.