How do music royalties work when publishing through a distributor

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Let’s say an individual was going to publish an album through a music distributing company, do they collect all the royalties and pay out or is there any other steps required? What should an independent artist do to maximize their profits earned?

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Essentially the artist and distributer negotiate an agreement on how to carve up the pie.

The artist produces the work, and distributer attempts to increase sales relative to trying to release on your own so both sides win.

Obviously major artists have a lot more bargaining power with distributors than small time musicians.