As of this writing, there are currently 116,133 verifiable* payments owed to music creators and rights-holders that are sitting in unclaimed/undistributed royalties escrow accounts (referred to as “Black Box” funds**) in the United States.
The actual number of individual payments owed is likely closer to or exceeds 1 Million, however the actual number is unknown because the administrator(s) of some of the biggest Black Box funds have not made public their list of payees to whom they owe royalties.
Unfortunately, due to the statute of limitations on these funds many of these payments expire. Every month payees unknowingly forfeit their rights to these payments and the interest in the royalties revert back to the administrator. This happens because the payee does not contact the administrator of the fund to claim their royalties. Granted, most payees are unaware that these payments are waiting for them because the administrator is unable to reach the payee for various reasons.
It has been estimated that the global “Black Box” royalties could be in the billions of dollars owed to music creators and rights-holders.
Imagine working somewhere and then you do not receive a paycheck because the HR department does not have your new address. Not a perfect analogy, but not receiving monies that you’ve earned as a result of your hard work seems unfair.
THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM
So, I am happy to announce that I am working on a side project called Royalty Claim. Royalty Claim will attempt to work with as many of these administrators to aggregate their databases of millions of records of unclaimed/undistributed royalties and make that information available to the public. There are other services and insight that we will offer through Royalty Claim to help educate music creators and rights-holders on Black Box funds and how to limit/prevent their earnings from falling victim to the broken global music licensing ecosystem (such as taking control of your music catalog with TuneRegistry).
Also, follow @RoyaltyClaim on Twitter.
* These 116,133 payments are specifically verifiable because the list of payee names can be gathered from several databases.
** I am currently aware of over 30 funds and sub funds being managed in the United States. However, there are definitely many more that are “private”.
At MIDiA Research we are currently in the final stages of producing the update to our annual landmark report: The State Of The Streaming Nation, a report which compiles every streaming market data point you could possibly need.
In advance of its release in June we want to give you a sneak peak into a couple of the key areas of focus: streaming app usage and major label streaming revenue.
Subscriber numbers only tell part of the streaming story. They are solid indicators of commercial success, but can often obscure how well a service is doing in terms of engaging its user base. That’s why we track the main music services’ active user bases every quarter. But rather than tracking Monthly Active Users (MAUs), we track Weekly Active Users (WAUs). The MAU metric is past its sell by date. In today’s always on, increasingly mobile digital landscape, doing something just…
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An alarming truth about Spotify royalties…
We hate to say we told ya so, but… Below is our post from September 2015. Two years ago we predicted the inevitable truth of the all you can eat Spotify subcription model. Like many of our predictionsand proposals (example; windowing titles) we’ve had to wait for the industry to catch up to us. Today, two years later, Digital Music News confirms our prediction.
Read the report from Digital Music News by clicking the headline link here.
Our original post from 2015 is below…
Spotify Per Play Rates Continue to Drop (.00408) … More Free Users = Less Money Per Stream #gettherateright
Down, down, down it goes, where it stops nobody knows… The monthly average rate per play on Spotify is currently .00408 for master rights holders.
48 Months of Spotify Streaming Rates…
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I’ve been hearing that Spotify is rolling out their BETA for their new Spotify Ad Studio, which they are comparing to Google Adwords and Facebook. Some artist managers I’ve spoken with are already in the beta and using it to run ad campaigns on Spotify.
One manager posted in a group that I’m in:
Everyone go to adstudio.spotify.com and check it out for yourselves. Apparently I already have access. The targeting doesn’t get as fine as Facebook, for example, and there’s a $250 minimum spend which gets about 10,000 airings at $0.025 each. There’s also a $5,000 maximum, I presume per campaign, and above that you’re getting into their Spotify For Brands territory which has a $25,000 campaign minimum spend.
They also specify that they don’t currently support driving traffic to songs or playlists. Their ad objectives are ‘Announce an event,’ ‘Raise brand awareness,’ ‘Drive people to my website,’ and ‘Other.’
If you’re interested in advertising content, they encourage you to email email@example.com
Want to learn more, here’s a Google Doc with FAQs:
Generally speaking, with the industry being the Big Data industry that it has become, I feel that many of you how have experience with financial data modeling, forecasting, and other “financial/number people skills” could be a viable asset to numerous music companies.
Here are a few companies who specifically exist at the intersection of music and money, which could be a good transitional outlet for the right candidates: