New Tech for Songwriters

Technology is driving revenue from licensing and publishing.

Lyric Sharing:

Lyric-sharing deals aim to support songwriters. Proper licensing means that writers will receive the appropriate royalties for their work.

ANYONE who has searched for song lyrics on the web in the past decade has probably landed on a cheap, awfully designed website full of annoying ads, with no proof of lyric accuracy.

That has changed. Lyrics are now largely available at the point of music consumption, integrated into music services and devices, in real time with music listening. For fans, this allows for deeper dives into the meaning of music.

More importantly, many of the lyrics in use are now being acquired through proper licenses, which means royalties are likely to make their way to the music composition rights holders.


A Toronto-based company, LyricFind is the world’s leader in legal lyric solutions. Google signed a multiyear licensing deal in June with LyricFind, to display licensed lyrics prominently in Google search results.

LyricFind has 4,000 publishers and more than 1m lyrics licensed legally in eight languages, according to Darryl Ballantyne, its founder and CEO. LyricFind tracks, reports, and pays royalties to publishers on a song-by-song and territory-by-territory basis.


Founded in 2009, Genius is a unique media company that’s powered by community, an in-house creative team, and the artists themselves.

  • Genius started as a platform for annotating clever rap lyrics — their original name was Rap Genius.
  • The Genius community has grown into an influential force of over 2 million contributors, editors, and musicians who sign-up to discuss and deconstruct their favorite songs with fans all around the world.
  • Over 25 million songs, albums, artists, and annotations.
  • Genius serves music knowledge to over 100 million people each month on
  • Signed a partnership with Spotify.
  • Genius Media Group, Inc. (GMG) is fully licensed to display lyrics across all of its properties.

In 2013, Genius entered into licenses with every major music publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, and Warner/Chappell Music. In addition, Genius developed a form license with the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) which today covers more than 96% of the independent publisher market.

Royalties for Lyric Sharing:

Royalties for lyrics are largely determined by agreements negotiated between the rights holders and licensee. The policing of lyric-sharing in America is largely up to the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) who can make big blanket licensing deals.

LyricFind: The company doesn’t release exact royalty payment numbers, but pays millions to lyrics publishers each year.

Genius: Has licensing agreement with music composition rights holders which are paid out when a consumer views song lyrics via their platform and on Spotify.


Synch Licensing’s best friend:

Shazam is a mobile app that recognizes music and TV around you. It is the best way to discover, explore and share the music and TV you love. Shazam connects more than 1 billion people. It recently landed a major deal with Apple.

  • Great value add for sync licensing!

Do you believe technology is on the side of songwriters and publishers?