Spotify, Apple and others pay $424.38m in historical Unmatched Royalties to Mechanical Licensing Collective

Photo Credit: Giorgio Trovato

A total of 20 DSPs have transferred a combined $424.38 million in accrued historical unmatched royalties to The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) as required in order for them to seek the Music Modernization Act‘s (MMA) limitation on liability for past infringement.

Those DSPs, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, SoundCloud and others, also delivered more than 1,800 data files, which contain in excess of 1.3 terabytes and nine billion lines of data.

Of that $424.38m, $163.3m was received from Apple, $152.2m from Spotify, while Amazon and Google transferred $42.7m and $32.8m, respectively (see below).

According to the MLC, the transfer of these monies “represents the culmination of a months-long effort on the part of The MLC and these DSPs to develop and implement the specifications for these usage reports”.

Now that the MLC has these unmatched royalties and usage reports in hand, it can begin the process of reviewing and analyzing the data in order to find and pay the proper copyright owners.

Going forward, The MLC says that it will provide additional information about historical unmatched royalties on a newly-created page on its website entitled “Historical Unmatched Royalties.”

The MLC is required under the MMA to engage in diligent efforts to publicize any Transfers made by a DSP throughout the music industry.

Established by the Music Modernization Act (MMA), the MLC is a nonprofit entity designated by the United States Copyright Office to develop and administer a mechanical licensing system that launched on January 1, 2021.

The MLC is responsible for collecting and distributing royalties payable to songwriters and copyright owners by digital music services, and for the creation of a first-of-its-kind, public database that will contain critical copyright information on all musical works.

The MLC is backed by the National Music Publishers’ Association, the Nashville Songwriters Association International and the Songwriters of North America.

David Israelite, NMPA

“This significant amount proves just how broken the system was, how much the MMA was needed, and how much songwriters have to benefit from the protections it has put in place.”

David Israelite, NMPA

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite, said: “Songwriters and music publishers have for years fought to ensure they were paid accurately and fully by digital streaming services.

“‘Unmatched money’ has plagued the industry and today, thanks to the Music Modernization Act (MMA), we know that it amounts to just under $425 million – not including money previously paid out in multiple million dollar settlements.

“This significant amount proves just how broken the system was, how much the MMA was needed, and how much songwriters have to benefit from the protections it has put in place. At long last, that money can make its way to its rightful owners.

“This is a massive win for music creators and the streaming services themselves. The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) obtaining this historically unmatched money, doing the research to find its owners, and giving copyright owners a transparent process to claim what is theirs is exciting progress that paves the way for the future growth of streaming that will benefit the entire industry.”Music Business Worldwide

Related Posts