From Digital Music News:
Who’s actually writing their own music these days? That can be a complicated question, though in the eyes of the law, the publishing credit determines whether a performer actually wrote the song. And this is more than just a technical distinction: a writing credit entitles the performer to a piece of the publishing revenue (depending on splits, other writers, etc.)
So, we spent the week searching the databases of ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, and cross-referencing the top 100 charting songs on BigChampagne’s Ultimate Chart (week ending 11/11). The result? A whopping 83 percent found the performer, or at least one of the band members in the writing credit. Sometimes alone, though usually alongside a writing team.
The reason? The obvious takeaway is that performers are starting to play a more active role in the writing process.
Wow. I’m a lot surprised.
Paul does clarify that performers may be weaseling (my term) their way into the writing credits, even if they didn’t really write the song. But it still seems fairly high to me.
According to this chart, writing pop music can be done in less than 5 minutes.