With the current and ongoing digital revolution creating a general optimistic scenario for the music industry to bloom in, global access to music gets spread continuously and at a faster pace than ever before. New worldwide digital platforms and the power of streaming are setting an unrivalled ground to explore new music genres, grow audiences, enjoy music on the go and even build closer engagement with online communities.
Yet, while the music industry has been greatly impacted and disrupted by this digital wave, in many cases it still remains a sector that has not yet fully embraced a data-centric approach, missing out on a great opportunity to boost its revenues even further, and optimise every aspect of its music production pipeline-chain. As a result, composers, artists, songwriters, publishers, record labels and all types of rights holders may not exploiting the maximum benefits, ownership and control of their IP.
Wait… How come rights’ management is paramount?
All industry players, but especially all artists and independent labels, should be aware of the importance and the industry insights that come along with the management of music rights and the process behind the redistribution of music royalties. From full administrative tasks and creative needs, to A&R, data management and digital marketing, there is a very vast pool of boxes to be ticked, and often many hazy technical gaps to be noted, until the rights of a song are accurately managed.
How do we know who the rightful owner of a music track or album is? Who has the control over which specific type of rights (Publishing or Master in example) ? Who should receive royalties for a sound recording, and are these royalties collected correctly around the world? How is all information collected, and the metadata managed?
If the metadata is not meticulous and correct, the usage of the tracks will be ineffective, since there won’t be any visibility over where it’s coming from. If the rights and the linked metadata isn’t properly synchronised crosswise every database of the industry, then again, the right people will not be identified – and consequently not get paid. All the above mentioned factors can have a direct outcome on how artists and other rights holders are losing opportunities to get recognised, and grow their audience, reach and income.
Better understanding and new technologies are making recent times look brighter and are improving drastically how everything gets managed within the music world. Transparency in big data and metadata collection, innovative rights and royalty management technology and blockchain projects, are shedding a lot of light in all the players of the music industry’s value chain. Processes are getting automated, digital marketing is getting fully optimised, and copyrights are getting more and more registered. And all this, while royalty splits and payout distributions are managed in a more trusted and transparent way.
Hand-in-hand to the top
While artists, producers and musicians are fully devoted and captured in the creative process of making new music, the correct management of their music rights can easily be outsourced and optimised. With all the innovations the evolution of the internet brought in recent years and throughout the big progression linked to music right management, a whole set of new companies arose, ready to help the music industry reach its maximum potential.
There are many companies out there ready to assist, with each of them having their very own best practices and unique selling points. One thing all of them have in common, is that they all aim for a more precise and transparent management of music rights, and for the income optimisation of the generated music royalties.
We’ve selected a few of these industry players who are focussed on right management and listed them here below:
Synchtank offers a range of cloud-based software solutions for managing assets, intellectual property, metadata and royalties. Synchtank’s enterprise-grade platform is highly customizable and provides advanced capabilities for managing, monetizing, and respecting rights on a global scale. Synchtank also offers a comprehensive royalty accounting solution, IRIS, designed to maximize automation, bring clarity to complex processes, and unlock real value for music rights holders operating in the digital age. Synchtank’s diverse range of customers includes British Telecom TV and Sport, CD Baby, Disney, the NFL, peermusic, [PIAS], Sony, United Masters, Universal, VICE Media, WarnerMedia and Warner Music Group.
Reprtoir is a SaaS solution designed specifically for record labels and music publishers to manage and optimize their music businesses. Reprtoir’s fully secured online all-in-one workspace, manages all catalogues on a CMS built for music metadata, musical works and contracts, private playlists, and releases to DSPs, directly from Reprtoir’s environment. Their Royalties Manager allows the management of several organizations’ expenses,incomes, and all kinds of digital statements, along with the tracking of all accounting operations. This way users can realize their accounting operations and link them to rights holders, artists or tracks, even linking contracts to them.
Believe is an independent digital distributor service for independent artists and labels worldwide. Believe delivers to online streaming platforms and download services as Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music and Napster, and their partners vary from Woodes and Hayden James, to DRM, Parov Stelar and AFM Records. Their full range of services include dedicated label & international campaign management, digital music and video distribution, trade marketing and promotion services, synchronisation and neighbouring rights management, as well as an in-house record label, Believe Recordings.
CD Baby is the world’s largest digital distributor and retailer of independent music. CD Baby’s platform includes names of more than 650,000 cross-genre artists, distributing their music to over 150 digital streaming and download services globally. Their services include a very large range of artists’ seamless support, including their music licensing service CD Baby Sync, their own marketing tool platform Show.co, and their website hosting platform, HostBaby. Needless to say, CD Baby’s services include as well cover song licensing, manufacturing and duplication for physical distribution, CD and vinyl distribution, and extra demographic and geographic data analysis for their partners.
BuzzMyVideos is a tech-media company pioneering in the Online Video Space with its unique Video Scalable & Actionable Analytics Suite. BuzzMyVideos provides record labels, publishers, artists and brands with premium scalable solutions for driving incremental growth on their YouTube presence, increasing their reach, making their content searchable, growing the audience at scale, and driving traffic to marketing KPIs. With leading tech technology, BuzzMyVideos aids the building of new revenue streams and new business on and from YouTube for their Premium Clients, at scale. They hold a very broad list of global customers, including Warner Music Group, Atlantic Records, Awal, Beggars Group, Vevo, HSBC and London Business School
ReverbNation is a digital music distributor and all-in-one platform for indie artist services. Their tools and packages include a website-builder for artist branding with custom domain, an EPK, social feedback and reviews for music, marketing and promotion tools, social media and digital ads, tools to find gigs and other industry opportunities, and sponsorship under the ReverbNation brand where artists are introduced and exposed to music industry partners and events.
Amuse release and distribute music to all major music stores and streaming platforms. Apart from a digital music distributor, Amuse acts as an independent record label as well, offering to selected artists hands-on services like release strategies, promotion, play-listing, and financing. The company provides free digital music distribution and license deals to artists and independent labels, while allowing them to keep 100% ownership of their royalties and rights. Supplementary features, like royalty splits, multiple artist’ profiles or music releasing to social media, including TikTok and Instagram, through their Pro tier, supports quicker releases, and well-rounded support.
AWAL is an online music management service that delivers the music of independent artists to all the key stores and streaming platforms in more than 200 regions globally. AWAL’s services are free to join, taking up a minimum 15% share of all the streaming and download profits after the release of an artist’s track, and include among others project funding, digital and physical distribution, A&R, digital marketing and analytics, and synch and licensing. Artists will first need to be approved to join and distribute with AWAL and become a part of the company’s selected partners.
Distrokid is a digital music distribution provider distributing music of over 150 partners to music stores and streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok, Pandora, Amazon, Instagram, YouTube, Tidal, iHeartRadio, Deezer and more. Their services are based on annual subscription plans and add-ons, or separate subscriptions for each musical release. Artists always keep 100% of their rights and royalties, and can even opt for setting up automatic royalty splits in the cases where multiple people worked on a song and they each own a percentage of the recording and earnings.
Be aware that the list above is not extensive, and it just includes some of the players in the market. There are, in fact, multiple potential partners that are out there for you and can help you meet your rights’ management needs.
With technologies getting constantly better each day and new tools becoming available, over the next few years we’ll see an even bigger and positive impact on the collection of music royalties. More transparent and traceable processes, together with efficient and proactive management of music rights will benefit everyone in the industry, including all investors who own shares to music rights in their investment portfolio.
It is our strong belief at ANote Music that if we all embrace new technologies and work all together towards a common goal, we’ll soon see the music industry grow to heights it has never seen before. The future is bright and glittering, isn’t it?