Over the past few months, some of music’s biggest stars have released No. 1 projects on the Billboard 200 chart without determining the final percentages each songwriter owns on all the album’s tracks. Among them, Kanye West’s Donda, Olivia Rodrigo’s hit singles “good 4 u” and “deja vu” from her album SOUR, Drake’s Certified Lover Boy, and Young Thug’s Punk, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart last week. With numerous samples and multiple features, the album’s songwriting and production credits are listed on digital service providers (DSPs), like Spotify, but the exact percentages of ownership and royalties each writer will take home for their work on the album — “splits” in industry speak — was still being figured out at the time of release.
This is not a new phenomenon. “It happens a lot, and it’s incredibly frustrating,” says Nick Myers, a United Kingdom-based manager who works with songwriters and producers.
Nick Myers, a United Kingdom-based manager who works with songwriters and producers.While labels typically require all parties to settle their splits on the master recording prior to release — using producer and artist-to-artist agreements — publishing tends to be a more lengthy and complicated process on average. As a result, some songwriters are left in limbo for months, and in rare cases, over a year before their splits are decided by each of the songwriters’ teams. In the meantime, their royalty payments can wind up delayed, misappropriated or lost altogether.
Delays in the determination of songwriter splits occur for a variety of reasons. One is the lag time that usually takes place between the writing of a song and its release. “Often it’ll be two or three years,” explains Jon Weinner, half of the songwriting and production duo The Roommates who have had hits with Demi Lovato, Dominic Fike, Selena Gomez and more. “By then, people have a hazy memory about what they wrote.”
Jon Weinner, half of the songwriting and production duo The Roommates who have had hits with Demi Lovato, Dominic Fike, Selena Gomez and more. “By then, people have a hazy memory about what they wrote.”
Source : https://www.billboard.com/pro/songwriter-splits-settled-after-release-drake-kanye-explainer/524