Streamline Songwriting Credits: Use Our Split Sheet Template

split sheet

Managing songwriting credits can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Our easy-to-use split sheet template helps you keep track of who deserves what. Make sure every contributor gets their fair share of the royalties. Ready to simplify your songwriting credits? Download our split sheet template now!

What is a split sheet?

A split sheet shows how much of the songwriting credits each person gets for a song or group of songs. It gives each person a share of the songwriting, mechanical, and streaming royalties.

Split sheets usually list each person’s share of these royalties:

  • Publishing royalties
  • Mechanical royalties
  • Streaming royalties

What is a split sheet?

In the past, record labels or publishing companies created split sheets, often giving themselves a share of the royalties as part of a deal.

Now, with more artists choosing to be independent, they must create their split agreements with their collaborators.

Who is included on a split sheet?

Anyone who helped create the song should be on the split sheet.

If you work with a label, management, or publishing company, you might need to include them even if they didn’t help make the music.

A split sheet could include:

  • Songwriters: those who wrote the lyrics, melody, and song idea
  • Composition owners: anyone who helped with the music or arrangements
  • Producers: mixing and mastering engineers, studio producers, sound designers
  • Musicians: studio musicians who take a percentage instead of their session fee
  • Music publishers and record labels.

What Information is in Most Split Sheets?

Writing everything down on your split sheet is very important to keep trust with everyone you work with. Make sure to include all the right details.

A typical split sheet will include:

  • The name of the song (or songs if it’s for an album)
  • The legal name of each person who contributed
  • The percentage share for each contributor
  • The percentage share for the publisher or label
  • Contact information for each contributor
  • A dated signature from each person
  • A witness signature

Each split sheet might look a bit different depending on the agreement between the artist, contributors, and any involved publishing agencies or labels.

How Do Split Sheets Work for Streaming Platforms?

How Do Split Sheets Work for Streaming Platforms

Streaming royalties are divided the same way as mechanical and publishing royalties.

Digital distribution companies often handle streaming royalties, so you can usually set this up easily on their platform.

It’s best to keep the same share of song splits for streaming as you do for publishing and mechanical royalties for each contributor.

Can You Use Split Sheets for Sample Clearance?

Hot tip: Sample clearance isn’t done on the split sheet, but cover songs can be split between cover producers since royalties to the original artists are paid out before mechanical royalties.

Usually, no, you can’t use a split sheet for sample clearance.

Instead, sample clearance is done by paying a licensing fee or an agreed-upon royalty to the rights holder, separate from the split agreement.

The licensing fee is paid before any splits, so royalties for a song with a sample are paid after the sample license holder is paid.

Often, sample clearance is paid as a lump sum to the rights holder for the right to use their music.

How to Split Percentages Between Collaborators

There’s no fixed rule for splitting royalties between collaborators. But it should be clear who deserves what based on their contributions.

A common idea is that anyone in the room while writing the song should get some share of the royalties.

Since songs are often written over time, it’s not always clear where and when each part was created.

Another way to split is by looking at the roles each person played during the creation. Here’s one way to calculate percentages for each role:

  • Songwriters: 30-50%
  • Producers: 25-30%
  • Mix & master engineers: 10-15%
  • Session musicians: 5-15%
  • Label or music publishers: 10-20%

This is just a rough guide. You’ll need to talk with your collaborators to decide who gets credit and how much.

For example, many recording engineers and studio musicians prefer a fixed studio rate over a songwriting credit.

When Should You Sign a Split Sheet?

Sign a split sheet only after you’ve read all the legal terms and agree on how the royalties will be divided.

Never sign because you feel pressured. Only agree when you’re comfortable with the terms.

If you’re not ready, plan a meeting and discuss how royalties will be shared among everyone.

It’s important to make sure everyone agrees on the split before signing.

Divide and Conquer

Music brings like-minded people together.

As an artist, I’ve collaborated with others throughout my journey, making friends and learning new ideas about music each time.

Whether working in bands, writing my songs, or playing as a supporting musician, there’s always a talk about how to split the money.

The best plan is to have an open and clear discussion about how everyone will benefit from any money the project makes, so no one is surprised or disappointed.

Now, go find some great collaborators and start making your next track!

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