Music Publishing, Sync & Licensing Course

Study online in our virtual classroom


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!

Available Course Dates


Online in our virtual classroom:

(Find out more about how our online courses work)

16 June - 07 July 2020 | Tuesdays | 18:30-21:00 *

* Times in BST (UK time)


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.


James Cooper is Head of Synch & Creative Licensing at

Hear from one of our recent Music Publishing, Sync & Licensing students | Darren Holland


When you ask the question 'is this the best course for me?' and they say 'yes' they are being very truthful!  Excellent course and tutor!


Read the full review here

Topics Covered | Syllabus


Module One

  • 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 Three

  • 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 Two

  • 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 Four

  • 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


FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions

Enrol | Secure Your Place Today


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.

(Inclusive of VAT)

Tuition Fees: £449

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