Music Publishing, 
Sync & Licensing 

Evening Options

SMB, Holland Park Gardens, London W14


The world of music publishing is incredibly important but often misunderstood, so we’ve created an entertaining short course to explain exactly how this part of the industry works.


Publishers are responsible for the commercial exploitation of musical works. Music publishing is a huge revenue stream for songwriters, and its importance in today’s business is more significant than ever before.  Through synchronisation deals, publishers secure placements for recorded works in the advertising, film, television and gaming industries. Once a writer signs a publishing deal, the publisher then works to license the music, monitor its usage, and collect all associated royalties and revenues, which are split between both parties. 


Our popular course is taught by James Cooper, as the Head of Sync and Creative Licensing at Sony/ATV, he is one of the UK’s most highly respected and established music publishing professionals.  If you’d like to acquire a better understanding of how musical works are commercially exploited, then this music publishing course is for you!

Class Times: 18:30 to 21:00 (4 sessions)

Available Dates:

Option 1: Thursdays | 05 March to 26 March 2020

Option 2: Thursdays* | 07 May to 28 May 2020
     * Third session will take place on Wed 20 May


Very limited places remaining on both the above dates

Meet The Tutor | James Cooper


Hi, I’m James Cooper,  your tutor for the Music Publishing, Sync and Licensing course at SMB.

I’m very much looking forward to meeting you all. It will be an honour to support you on your journey into music publishing and to share my passion for this important sector of the industry. I am Head of Sync & Creative Licensing at Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The Sync & Creative Licensing team is an integral department specialising in all aspects of music licensing for Ads, Films, TV, Video Games, Digital and New Media. 

I’ve worked at Sony/ATV for 10 years and in synch for over 15 years and have placed and licensed music for brands such as John Lewis, Sony, Nike, Adidas, Audi, BT, and Barclaycard to name a few. I work closely with our roster of songwriters and artists, and my clients are advertising agencies, brands and music supervisors. 

Before working in the music industry, I worked in advertising and film production at Grand Central Studios, Saatchi & Saatchi, Revolution Films (for director Michael Winterbottom) and MTV Europe on ‘The Real World London’.

Sony/ATV is the leading music publisher with a catalogue of more than 3 million copyrights, ranging from songs by iconic names including The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Michal Jackson, Carole King, Queen and The Rolling Stones to contemporary superstars such as Taylor Swift, Pharrell Williams, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Pink, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran.


I’m very much looking forward to meeting you all. It will be an honour to support you on your journey into music publishing and to share my passion for this important sector of the industry.



Read some reviews from James' recent students

Topics Covered | Syllabus


Module 1

  • What is music publishing? 

  • What are the functions and roles of a music publisher?

  • A brief history of music publishing in the UK, USA and Europe

  • Market leaders in publishing music 

  • Music publishing business models (pop, classical, production, indie/major, international etc.)

  • Artist and writer contracts

    • Types of agreement

    • Terms, retention periods, infringements​, advances, recoupment and pipeline income 

  • Collection societies across the world - PROs

    • Rights, reciprocal agreements, international partnerships, reporting, collections and distributions

  • Membership of overseas collection societies

Module 2

  • The creative process

  • The writer/composer relationship with the publisher

  • How a publisher develops an artist-writer

  • Development deals

  • Cowriters - global and local

  • Samples, mash-ups and covers

  • Co-publishing and sub-publishing

  • The signing decision

    • A&R signings​

    • Investment and ROI

  • A&R, marketing and promotion of the roster

  • Working with record labels

  • Working with artist/writer managers

  • Publisher owned masters

Module 3

  • Synchronisation and brands

  • Agents and music supervisors

  • Music supervision - licensing platforms, agents, roles, rights and remuneration 

  • Licensing in online and offline media - movies, tv, radio, games, advertising, branding and corporate productions and student films

  • Process of licensing - terms period and territory

    • Registration notification, licensing models etc.

    • commercial, commissioned, library and public domain music

    • Blanket agreements 

    • Commissioning and production

    • Responsibilities and timeframes

  • Terms of licensing agreements 

Module 4

  • Music publishing today

    • ​Major publishers​

    • Independent publishers

  • Direct membership to collection agencies - a new model​

  • The administration process in music publishing 

    • Registration, notification and duplication​

    • Royalty tracking and distribution technology 

    • Revenue and data flow for publishing music

    • Transparency and efficiency in music publishing

  • Revenue streams in the age of streaming​

  • International partnerships

  • The future of music publishing and how to find work in the business


Requirements | Who The Course Is For

Who is the course suitable for?

  • Those interested in a career in music publishing or music supervision

  • Anyone setting up their own music publishing company or wing to an existing business, such as a record label, or a self publishing artist

  • Those looking for a clearer understanding of the functions, processes and procedures involved in music publishing

  • Those looking to commercially exploit their own work, or that of a client

  • Those seeking a clear understanding of collection & distribution of royalties

  • Those interested in becoming a music supervisor or licensing music

  • Songwriters that want to understand how to monetise their works

  • Anyone else with an interest in the field

  • A passion for music and an interest in the music industry

  • Suitable for all levels, including those with no previous experience

  • 18 years and over

  • A note pad and pen for note taking during the course

  • Students receive a Certificate of Completion, signed by the tutor and the school directors

Are there any requirements?
Will I get a certificate?

Enrol | Secure Your Place Today


Tuition Fees: £449

(Inclusive of VAT)

Enrol online via our secure booking system powered by Paypal.

You will receive a confirmation by email upon booking.
Payment plan options are also available; for details email us here.

SMB The School of Music Business - music business courses in London. Music industry short courses taught by music business professionals. Evening classes including artist management, music PR, music journalism, music marketing, starting a record label and more.
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