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Producer Symbolyc One (S1) dropped a bomb on Instagram that opened up the conversation around the truth about typical Publishing Deal terms, specifically how Minimum Delivery Release Committment (MDRC) clauses work.


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A post shared by S1 (Symbolyc One) (@symbolycone)

A Minimum Delivery Release Commitment (MDRC) clause puts a release quota on the songwriter. In addition to the number of songs that must be written and delivered to the publisher overall, this requires a songwriter to have a certain number of songs released on major labels before the contract is fulfilled.

For example, let’s say the MDRC is 4 songs. This means four wholly-written songs, or 400%. So if you wrote 50% of four separate songs released on major labels, you have only reached 50% of your quota.

S1 goes more in depth in the subsequent IG Reel:


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A post shared by S1 (Symbolyc One) (@symbolycone)

It’s easy to assume “publishers are evil”, but clauses like these are a normal part of the business. Publishers invest time and money into their songwriters, with the goal of a return on their investment.

Even S1 isn’t completely against them:

People often ask me should they do a publishing deal. I always tell them it all depends on “your” current situation and also what the deal terms consist of.

This was right for me at that moment and level of my life/career. It allowed my wife and I to become debt free, created more opportunities and also gave me freedom to travel for more sessions and networking… but with a HUGE cost called MDRC 😈!!

Obviously, for me right here, right now …Nope..this wouldn’t be in alignment! Lol.

That being said, you have to weigh your options and determine what you’re willing to accept to achieve the career you want.

As a bonus, here is a clip of legendary songwriter Johntá Austin discussing his experience with his first publishing deal on the R&B Money Podcast:


Orondé Jenkins is a multidisciplinary artist and media consultant based in Nashville. No Average Journey was born out of his desire to help artists grow in their lives and careers.