What’s the difference between the master and composition of a song? What royalty streams are you due from your work on a composition, and what are the related services you need to register for? Here are frequently-asked questions we receive about compositions in Stem and music publishing. 

Have more questions? Our team is here to help. Feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

What Is A Musical Composition?

A musical composition consists of a song's written melody and lyrics. The author of a musical composition is generally the composer. Additionally, if there are lyrics, the writer would also qualify as an author.

If I'm a Member of a Performing Rights Organization (PRO), Can I Still Use Stem?

Absolutely. Stem works with a different set of royalties than your performing rights organization does, so you are able to use Stem in conjunction with your PRO.

I Am the Sole Owner of the Recording (Master) & the Composition (Lyrics And Melody). Can I Use Stem?

Yes! As long as you have any ownership claim on the sound recording and/or composition, we'll help you manage the payments, whether that amounts to .01 percent (minority owner) or 100 percent (sole owner).

What If Multiple Collaborators Wrote the Lyrics & Melody (the "Composition")?

Not a problem! Users can have unlimited shareholders, or collaborators, on a Stem contract. As long as the sum of your splits simply equals 100 percent, our system can handle the rest. Each shareholder receives their own Stem account, so any shareholder can access and manage content they have worked on.

Does Stem Collect Publishing Royalties?

Yes, we do! Stem can collect U.S. mechanical royalties from YouTube views & iTunes downloads, and we plan to integrate with more platforms in the near future. The result? More publishing royalties for our users.