The UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF) has published a new guide, in partnership with CMU, focusing on songwriter royalties. It claims that “inefficient payment systems are drastically reducing the royalties that creators receive”, taking a different spin on the ‘songwriters should be paid more’ debate around streaming.

“As streaming becomes the biggest recorded music revenue stream – and with the song share on that income being double that on a CD – songwriters should be slowly starting to see a benefit. But songwriters and their managers insist that is not happening,” suggests the report. “There are a number of factors that in part explain this conundrum, including the increasing number of co-writers on songs in some genres and the way monies are shared out between the different works on an album in the streaming domain. However, perhaps the biggest factor is the inefficient process via which song royalties from streams are processed and paid.”

The MMF is suggesting a range of solutions, from more transparency around global royalty chains, to openness about ‘data clashes’ when the splits on a song are in dispute, and fair distribution of ‘black-box’ (i.e. unallocated) royalties for songwriters from streaming. Read the full report here.

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