Split sheets are very important for all creators that collaborate with others. It can mean the difference between getting paid & not seeing a dime.
A split sheet is a simple document that lays out who owns what part(s) of a particular song. It should have the following:
- Song title
- Names, Publishers & PROs of all writers
- Split Percentages
- Signatures of all writers
Standard practice is to split the percentages equally amongst the writers. For example, if there are two writers, the splits are 50/50. You can also break it down by lyric & melody. For example, if Writer A wrote the music & Writers B and C wrote the lyrics, Writer A would receive 50% and Writers B and C would each receive 25%.
The importance of the split sheet comes into play when a song is placed. If you have this split sheet signed and dated by all co-writers, you have proof of ownership. Several scenarios could occur without this backup, including the following:
- Someone could claim more than their fair share & put the song into dispute. When a song is in dispute, no one gets paid until it is resolved.
- You could miss the chance of a song placement because a writer couldn’t be found.
- The song could get placed & someone could erase you from the credits. No credit = no royalties.