UK managers’ group issues report arguing for more transparency in digital royalties

MMF Digital Dollar reportThe Music Managers Forum released a new report titled “Dissecting the Digital Dollar” that examines the industry’s income from digital sources. The UK group used the report as a chance to push for more transparency in the business of online music.

It posed seven key issues for the industry to address, ranging from how streaming revenue is split to how safe harbors are assigned to how data is shared. The report closed with a survey of managers about their understanding of revenue and licensing deals. Only 9% said they knew the revenue share arrangement between labels and streaming services for all of their artists; a whopping 57% didn’t know that info for any of their artists. Just 3% said they knew what percentage of a stream would be considered a reproduction right versus a performing right by their collective management organization.

MMF’s CEO Jon Webster helped present the report, noting that it was initially finished in June, but was held up by continual changes. “And that’s the issue: it keeps changing all the time,” he said. The report’s author, Chris Cooke, said that with the current upheaval, a shift in communication was needed. “The record industry is going though a revolution, and because such a revolution is happening, it is now time to involve artists in this conversation … and their managers and representatives,” Cooke said.

Anna Washenko