When dealing with recording agreements and song split agreements, it's clear that many artists and performers in the music industry are unclear regarding the different players and rights associated with music and songs. One area of confusion surrounds the “music publisher,” so I’ll try to shed a little light on this issue.
In short, a music publisher is a person or company who controls or owns certain rights, including the copyright, to a musical recording or song. Therefore, music publishers play an important and crucial role in determining whether your song is played, where your song is played, how your song is played, and the terms by why your song can be played. The role of a music publisher is essentially to acquire rights to music and songs in order to exploit the songs or the rights in those songs to generate revenue for themselves and the artist.