Understanding the New United States’ Mechanical Royalty Rates

🚨Attention Music Creators & Indie Music Publishers🚨

Understand the New United States’ Mechanical Royalty 💸 Rates

📱Streaming: 15.1% of DSP revenue
💿Physical: 12 cents per media (e.g. CD, Vinyl)
🎧Downloads: 12 cents per download

Previously, streaming was 10.5% of DSP revenue and physical media and downloads were 9.1 cents.

Looking ahead to 2023, songwriters will see a 32%-44% increase in mechanical royalty income.

It is more important than ever before to make sure that your songs are registered at The Mechanical Licensing Collective.

Check out this explainer video that I helped to create on how song metadata influences your money:
https://youtu.be/BprSCHUAIcw

(Side Note: Before you sign a recording contract, understand how a “controlled composition clause” may reduce your income as a songwriter and how your obligation to pay collaborators the full statutory royalty rates, while you’re being paid less than the full statutory rate, will impact your overall net income as an artist.)

On the Impact of False Copyright Infringement Claims on Independent Artists and Other Digital Creators

Screenshot of Billboard article.

Over the past 10 years, among other pursuits and adventures, I’ve advised independent artists and artist managers on copyright issues surrounding the exploitation of their music in the Internet Age. I’ve also advised entrepreneurs on the intellectual property compliance implications of their music app and digital media startups.

One interesting unintended consequence that has emerged out of the creation of copyright policing systems by Internet and digital music services is the abuse of these systems by bad actors whose only goal is to curb the success of a particular piece of content (music or video) or the creator of such content.

Services such as Youtube and Spotify have implemented takedown processes to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and limit their liability while maintaining a safe harbor from damages that may arise out of copyright infringement lawsuits. However, bad actors can use these same tools that are meant to help rightsholders protect their rights to instead attack creators in what appears to be economic warfare against artists: false infringement claims and errorneous takedowns.

Takedowns can derail creators during viral momentums, which can be detrimental; especially for independent artists. I’ve advised several clients who’ve been the victim of such an abuse of the system.

Today, Billboard published an article, written by reporter Elias Leight who investigated the use of false infringement claims as a tactic to curb the success of rivals. I was interviewed for the article and provided some of the contextual and technological backdrop for the investigation:

Article Excerpt:

Like other prominent platforms, Spotify responds to infringement claims seriously by removing allegedly infringing songs, and you can report a song without breaking a sweat. Platforms honor an infringement claim whether the intentions behind it are legitimate or not.

“Anywhere there’s content and there’s some system with a trust mechanism to flag violations, there’s an opportunity for abuse and mis-use,” says Dae Bogan, head of third-party partnerships at the Mechanical Licensing Collective. “Bad actors are gonna do what they’re gonna do.”

Article: https://www.billboard.com/pro/spotify-false-infringement-claims/

Milestone Reached: 10 Years Working Full-time In My Passion

Selfie taken next to one of the signs explaining The Mechanical Licensing Collective’s core principles.

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

– Marc Anthony

I’ve always found this quote to be intriguing and optimistic.

The notion that working in your passion should feel so fulfilling that it overshadows and numbs any pains or losses that you’ve endured from doing the work itself. Furthermore, that your passion is one in which you can make enough of a living to satisfy your basic needs and (hopefully) more—live comfortably.

It’s a fascinating idea, but it generally doesn’t become a reality for most of us; even those of us who absolutely love the work that we do.

I do think there is a form of this optimism that is true and obtainable. A world in which you can be completely fulfilled by your work while still appreciating the challenges that you face and overcome.

Challenge builds character and expands knowledge.

Challenge is a catalyst for problem-solving, a skill that has a positive cognitive effect on aging adults.

Challenge invites innovation, a realm in which we foster creativity.

And challenge can feel painful. Setbacks and failures can take a deep emotional, physical and/or financial toll.

At last, challenge can coexist when working in your passion and doing what you love (even when “living your best life!”)

Today marks 10 years since I have been able to work in my passion and do what I love full-time (previously, I had been moonlighting in my passion for 7 years). While my specific adventure within the land of music, creator rights, technology and innovation has changed over time, my focus has always been rooted in a passion for empowering music creators.

I am now 2 years into my current adventure at The Mechanical Licensing Collective as Head of Third-Party Partnerships and 7 years into my adventure at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music as a part-time music industry professor and I can say that doing what I love is work, but it is work that I appreciate.

The MLC to Celebrate Black Music Month with ‘For The Culture’ One-Day Summit in Nashville

June is BLACK MUSIC MONTH! I am thrilled to announce something I’ve been developing for months now:

The Mechanical Licensing Collective and Nashville Music Equality presents For The Culture: Empowering Black Music Creators to Achieve Beyond Reach

🗓 Tuesday, June 21st
⏰ 10am to 6pm
📍 The Mechanical Licensing Collective (Nashville)

Join us for this one-day summit celebrating the evolution of Black Music and its unique and ever-growing impact on the music industry. The event will feature panels designed specifically for Black music creators that both explore creative business strategies and examine the overall royalty landscape, networking opportunities for attendees and a host of live music performances.

◾️AGENDA◾️

10:00am – Check-In

10:30am-11:00am – Opening Discussion: “How Did We Get Here? A Coffee Conversation on the Evolution of Black Music” – The day will kick-off with a conversation to set the tone for the events ahead. Grab a cup of coffee and sit in as three music industry executives discuss the influence of African Americans on popular music. What’s in a genre? Looking to the evolution from Ragtime > Blues > Jazz > R&B > Rock & Roll > Hip-Hop; the commercialization of Black music and the exploitation of Black artists; and more.

Panelists:
• Dae Bogan (Moderator) – Head of Third-Party Partnerships, The Mechanical Licensing Collective and Billboard Digital Power Player
• Brennen Boose – Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications National Museum of African American Music
• Shannon Sanders – Executive Director of Creative, BMI Nashville and 3X GRAMMY Award-Winning Producer

11:15am-12:15pm – “Breaking Through the Noise: Creative Business Strategies for Black Music Creators”

Panelists:
• Shannon Sanders (Moderator) – Executive Director of Creative, BMI Nashville and 3X GRAMMY Award-Winning Producer
• Derek Minor, Grammy Award-winning artist and producer. Co-Founder of We Own Now as well as hip-hop record label Reflection Music Group (RMG)
• Mimi McCarley, Founder of Collab Music Network & Co-Founder of Nashville is Not Just Country Music and We Own Now

12:30pm-1:30pm – “Black Dollars: Unlocking U.S. Digital Music Royalties for Black Music Creators” – Be prepared to take notes and ask questions as this informative panel of music business experts dive into the fundamentals (copyright ownership and publishing), royalty streams (interactive, non-interactive, downloads), post-MMA era rights and entitlements, songwriter challenges, Digital Music Royalties Landscape, and more.

Panelists:
• Dae Bogan (Moderator) – Head of Third-Party Partnerships, The Mechanical Licensing Collective and Billboard Digital Power Player 2019
• Alandis Brassel – Entertainment Attorney, Manager, Assistant Professor of Music Business – University of Memphis
• Cheryl Potts – CEO, Cleerkut Royalty
• George Monger – CEO, Connect Music

1:30pm – 2:30pm – Networking Lunch sponsored by BMI Nashville

2:30pm-4:30pm – The Black Opry Experience – A conversation with the founder of Black Opry, artist conversations, and acoustic performances. Hosted by Gina Miller (SVP & General Manager, MNRK Music) and Kortney Toney (Marketing, Inclusion & Outreach Manager, Naxos of America)

4:30pm-6pm – Closing Reception sponsored by The MLC

Members of The MLC can learn more and reserve your spot at http://www.themlc.com/fortheculture

Tuning Into Pride (2022): An LGBT Music Industry Roundtable Moderated by Dae Bogan

Wednesday, June 1 at 3 p.m. ET | 2 p.m. CT | Noon PT 

This special webinar will feature a compelling discussion on the issues and careers of LGBT creators and professionals in the music industry, as well as an engaging Q&A session during which panelists will unpack and discuss how their identities have impacted their work and personal journeys. The webinar will be moderated by The MLC’s Head of Third-Party Partnerships Dae Bogan.

Learn more at http://www.themlc.com/pride

‘Middle class’ artists need niche, not scale

Music Industry Blog

Streaming continues to grow strongly, as evidenced by the28% growth reported by the RIAA for H1 2021 in the US. Everything looks great for the build-up to the impeding Universal Music Group (UMG) IPO. But all is not well in the creator community, as many artists and songwriters continue to be unhappy with streaming income (seen most pertinently in theUK parliamentary DCMS inquiry). However, the origin of so much of their ills, even if they do not yet realise it, is the mechanics of streaming itself rather than any party (labels, publishers or streaming services) not passing on enough money. Could these entities transfer more to their creators? Yes, of course. But there is no increase that could transform the outlook for most of these creators without potentially breaking the entire streaming economy. The crucial, emerging dynamic is that most mid-tier creators are never going to…

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[Video] Artist Managers Connect presents AMA About The Mechanical Licensing Collective with Dae Bogan

Dae Bogan conducts a Facebook Live “Ask Me Anything” regarding The Mechanical Licensing Collective in the Artist Managers Connect Facebook group on January 20th, 2021. Watch

Is the blanket license royalty rate determined after the majors have negotiated their license with the DSPs?

Does registration with the MLC supersede registrations with HFA and MRI?

If a song was previously licensed under the voluntary license, does it now have a secondary revenue to coming from the blanket license, or do you have to choose one path over the other?

Will the MLC establish reciprocal mechanical collections with foreign mechanical CMOs such as MCPS and AMCOS?

Watch me answer these questions and many more from artist managers in my “Ask Me Anything About The Mechanical Licensing Collective”

Watch: https://youtu.be/Kz43LyYXMUI

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