Posted inAnalysis

Music licensing evolves in response to new tech and trends

With Covid-19 continuing to curtail gigs, festivals and awards ceremonies, the sad-but-true fact is that Britain’s showcase music event of the year has probably been the parliamentary inquiry into music streaming economics.

Despite spotlighting several white-hot music issues of the day, the inquiry has to some extent also showed some of the ways the music industry remains tied to its past: for example the debate over whether streaming a track constitutes a sale, a rental, a broadcast etc.

In music licensing, too, there has often been a sense that technology is outpacing regulation.

“When you think back, Sacem was the first licensing organisation to be set up [in 1851]… a long time ago,” says Mike Edwards, VP of music licensing and European operations at Audible Magic. “There’s a lot of legacy in music licensing… People have developed set ways of doing it, and adapting them to new uses is quite a difficult and painful task for everyone.”

Posted inNews

US industry’s black box has ‘several hundred million dollars’

One of the first jobs for the new Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) in the US, once it’s properly up and running, will be to distribute ‘black box’ revenue.

That’s the royalties due to publishers and songwriters which have not been paid out because the works were ‘unmatched’ – streams of recordings where the songwriter and/or publisher metadata was missing.

But how big is that black box? Pretty big, as it turns out.

The Music Technology Policy blog has been combing through filings from the Digital Licensee Coordinator (DLC), which represents the streaming services in all this.

Posted inNews

MLC says it will launch its user portal ‘later this quarter’

The US’s new Mechanical Licensing Collective body (MLC) has provided an update on its plans to launch a portal for independent songwriters to register their works.

At the NY:LON Connect conference in January, MLC chair Alisa Coleman said the aim was to have the portal live early in the second quarter of 2020. Then the global Covid-19 pandemic happened, so it’s no surprise that the plans have been pushed back.

“The MLC intends to begin rolling out the first version of its user portal later this quarter,” explains a press release now. “This version will enable users to set-up their accounts and then search, view and edit The MLC’s data for existing musical works and register new musical works.”

Posted inNews

Publishing and rights: ‘Everybody needs to play ball in order for this tech to work’

“You can choose to grow one copyright at a time. That’s going to take a really, really long time. We went to look for solutions that would help us scale more quickly. And what drove that was really find likeminded people, find people with whom you have shared values… with whom you have a vision that really comes together as far as the growth and what you want to see. And do partnerships that way.”

Golnar Khosrowshahi is the founder and CEO of Reservoir, one of the most interesting companies sitting at the intersection of previously-siloed music industry sectors like publishing, management and master recordings.

She was also the keynote for the publishing and rights track at NY:LON Connect, the music industry conference that Music Ally co-runs with the Music Business Association (Music Biz), in New York. Khosrowshahi was interviewed on-stage by Helena Kosinski, VP of global, Nielsen Music / MRC Data.

The conversation began by looking back at Reservoir’s acquisition of the music publishing assets of TVT Music Enterprises a decade ago, in 2010. “Catalogues filled not with album cuts so much, but with great songs. It confirmed for us that we had to go after assets like that,” she said.