Transfers of Historical Unmatched Royalties

The $424 Million

On February 16, 2021, The MLC announced that 20 DSPs transferred a total of $424,384,786 in accrued historical unmatched royalties to The MLC. The DSPs also provided The MLC with  initial sets of usage data related to historical unmatched royalties. Read The MLC’s press release on these transfers here.

On June 15, 2021, 15 DSPs provided The MLC with additional usage data pertaining to historical unmatched royalties, supplementing the data they sent to The MLC as part of the February 2021 transfers.    

During the Summer of 2021, several DSPs sought to adjust the total amount of unmatched royalties they transferred to The MLC.

What Happens Next? 

The MLC started ingesting, matching and processing historical unmatched data into its internal systems early in the fall of 2021. This is the first step in the process of matching those royalties to the correct rightsholders for eventual distribution, which is expected to begin in 2022.   

The MLC is developing an online claiming portal that will allow MLC Members to identify any unmatched songs they own and then claim the unmatched royalties for those songs. The MLC will pay out matched royalties as part of its monthly payment process . 

What About Historical Unmatched Money That Doesn't Get Matched/Claimed? 

The MLC will hold historical unmatched money until at least 2023 and perhaps longer. After that point, The MLC can distribute unmatched money more than 3 years old to music publishers and self-administered songwriters using a market share/activity-based formula. Music publishers who receive historical unmatched royalties from The MLC must pay AT LEAST 50% of those royalties through to their songwriters. If you are a songwriter represented by a music publisher and you earned digital mechanical royalties during the period in question, you should receive a portion of any remaining historical unmatched royalties distributed to your publisher for that same period.
What Should I Do Now?
If you are a self-administered songwriter, music publisher or administrator: Connect to Collect by joining The MLC and registering your song data.

If you are a songwriter who is represented by a music publisher or administrator: You can check your data on The MLC’s public database and report any errors you find to your publisher/administrator. The MLC is working on additional ways to help you flag and report data errors to your publisher or administrator. We hope to launch those later this year.

The Details

This page provides information on transfers of accrued unmatched royalties (“Transfers”) by DSPs to The MLC pursuant to the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”), 17 U.S.C. 115(d)(10)(B)(iv)(III)(aa). This provision of the MMA requires DSPs to transfer to The MLC by February 15, 2021 all accrued royalties for unmatched uses of musical works that occurred prior to January 1, 2021 as one of the conditions of eligibility for a specified limitation on liability for prior infringements. Please note that, if certain conditions are met, the law permits DSPs to adjust the amount of accrued unmatched royalties they have transferred to The MLC (see, e.g., 37 CFR 210.10(k)). 

The MLC is required under the MMA to engage in diligent efforts to publicize any Transfers (or Transfer adjustments) made by a DSP throughout the music industry. 
DSPs that make Transfers (or Transfer adjustments) must certify the accuracy of all of the data they deliver to The MLC. The MLC’s acceptance of Transfers, or posting of information on Transfers, does not constitute certification or approval by The MLC of the accuracy of any information accompanying any Transfer, the validity of any certification, or the eligibility of any DSP to make a Transfer or to obtain a limitation on liability.  Finally, The MLC’s posting of that information in this section of our website does not constitute a representation or confirmation of any kind that a DSP has met the legal requirements necessary to obtain a limitation on liability under the MMA for any prior infringing uses.
If you have any questions about the information displayed below please contact the DSP directly. 

DSP Name Original Date Transferred Original Total Transferred Current Total Transferred
Google, LLC (Google Play Music / YouTube) January 27, 2021 $32,855,221.60 $33,034,563.57
Deezer SA  February 10, 2021 $988,337.55 $988,337.55
SoundCloud Operations, Inc. February 10, 2021 $10,171,725.34 $10,171,725.34 Services LLC (Amazon Music) February 11, 2021 $42,741,507.25 $44,313,424.15
Apple Inc. (Apple Music) February 11, 2021 $163,338,890.04 $165,727,890.23
Aspiro AB (Tidal) February 11, 2021 $6,975,425.39 $6,975,425.39
Mixcloud Ltd February 11, 2021 $13,650.44 $13,650.44
Pacemaker Music AB (Pacemaker) February 11, 2021 $277.73 $277.73
Spotify USA Inc.  (Spotify) February 11, 2021 $152,226,039.20 $149,929,219.05
Weav Music, Inc. (Weav Run) February 11, 2021 $12,710.79 $12,710.79
Xandrie USA, Inc. (Qobuz) February 11, 2021 $106,893.28 $106,893.28
Bill Graham Archives, LLC (Wolfgang's) February 12, 2021 $18,408.94 $18,408.94
Fan Label, LLC (FanLabel) February 12, 2021 $4,748.00 $3,661.95
iHeart Media + Entertainment, Inc (iHeartRadio) February 12, 2021 $1,299,328.30 $1,299,328.30
MediaNet, Inc. (GTL) February 12, 2021 $98,344.79 $98,344.79
Midwest Tape (Hoopla) February 12, 2021 $278,990.69 $278,990.69
Pandora Media, LLC (Pandora) February 12, 2021 $12,362,076.88 $12,362,076.88
Recisio SAS (Karaoke-Version) February 12, 2021 $2,087.18 $2,087.18
Slacker, Inc. (LiveXLive) February 12, 2021 $400,000.00 $925,801.00
Audiomack, Inc February 16, 2021 $490,123.23 $490,123.23
M&M Media, Inc. (Trebel) March 25, 2021 $- $108,557.43
Total    $424,384,787.62 $426,861,497.92