The Music Managers Forum has today formally called for more transparency around the music industry’s streaming deals - and the way labels, publishers and collective management organisations (CMOs) process and pay digital royalties - in the second part of its Dissecting The Digital Dollar report.
The report outlines the MMF's belief that the wider music industry needs to work together to develop the premium streaming market in order to drive recorded music revenues. However, it also notes that this will require rights owners and collecting societies to be more open with artists, songwriters and their representatives about digital deals and the ways streaming income is shared between the different stakeholder groups.
According to the MMF, it is vital that managers fully understand streaming deals so that they can audit their artists’ royalties, advise on the best industry partners to work with and make informed decisions about which streaming services and business models work best for their artists..
The organisation says it now intends to work with its members to compile a list of key areas of the streaming business where clarity is required, including royalty deductions and discounts, the sharing of unallocated advances and equity, and how each streaming service calculates what it owes each rights owner. It will also work with the wider industry to tackle the issues that are hindering transparency, such as non-disclosure agreements in the streaming services’ contracts and competition law concerns.
MMF’s chief executive Annabella Coldrick (pictured) and president Jon Webster stated: “The launch of ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar Part Two’ continues the MMF's long campaign for a more transparent music industry with the interests of artists and fans at its core. Through this report, we have been able to get to the heart of key issues affecting the modern music business ecosystem and identify practical steps for our members, their artists and the wider industry.
“The MMF is committed to educating and enabling the management community and scrutinising the entire music value chain to make sure that everyone is properly remunerated for their hard work and creative contributions. We hope that all who read this report will share our vision and work with us to create a fairer music business.”