Sony Music to deliver ‘Real Time’ royalty data to artists, and enable monthly cash withdrawals

Sony Music Entertainment has today (May 20) delivered some good news to its artists.

The company, run by CEO Rob Stringer (pictured) out of its HQ in New York, will launch two new payment features for its acts – ‘Real Time Royalties’ and ‘Cash Out’ – via its Artist Portal this fall.

The company says the new launches will “allow our artists and royalty participants to view and withdraw earnings faster than ever before”.

In a letter sent to artists by Sony Music and obtained by MBW, the firm explains: “Once launched, Real Time Royalties, available anytime, anywhere through the Sony Music Artist Portal, will… provide you immediate updates about your global royalty earnings and account balances as soon as we receive financial reporting from hundreds of digital distribution services on a monthly basis.”

‘Real Time Royalties’ is said to “eliminate the need to wait for periodic reporting cycles to see your royalty earnings and account balances”, while artists can also use analytics tools within Sony’s Artist Portal to “interpret your Real Time Royalties data in robust and powerful ways, giving you faster insights into your earnings trends so you can make highly‐informed decisions”.

‘Cash Out’, meanwhile, allows artists to request a withdrawal of all or a portion of their payable balance every month via the Artist Portal.

“There are no fees and no charges to use Cash Out, and we will continue to issue payment of any remaining account balances that have not been withdrawn through Cash Out on our normal payment schedule,” said Sony’s letter to artists today.

Sony’s recorded music streaming revenues hit $2.05bn in the 12 months to end of March, up 15.2% year-on-year. Total label revenues reached $3.85bn in the period.

Last year, MBW revealed that Sony Music had surprised many in the artist and management community with its policy regarding the sharing of profits from its equity stake in Spotify.

Sony Music sold 50% of its Spotify stake for $768m in calendar Q2 last year.

In paying out a portion of this money to artists and labels, Sony ignored any unrecouped balances which were ‘owed’ by these parties – meaning, in short, that a lot more cash ended up in the pocket of artists.

Warner Music Group, in contrast, allocated its Spotify share sale money against unrecouped artist balances, therefore keeping any ‘owed’ money within WMG’s coffers.

Universal Music Group announced late last year that, when it sells its Spotify shares, it will also overlook unrecouped artist balances, although UMG is (a) yet to sell any equity in Spotify and (b) provide further detail of its payout policy.Music Business Worldwide

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