The MLC: History & Milestones
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) is a nonprofit organization committed to ensuring songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers receive their mechanical royalties from streaming and download services in the U.S. accurately and on time.
On January 1, 2021, The MLC began issuing blanket mechanical licenses for interactive streaming and download services (digital service providers or DSPs) in the United States.
Every step in our journey has helped prepare our organization to fulfill our important mission. We are proud of the progress we’ve made and are committed to the work ahead!
The Music Modernization Act (MMA) of 2018 is signed into law.
The MLC announces Richard Thompson will serve as Interim Chief Information Officer. Thompson becomes The MLC’s permanent CIO in November 2019.
The U.S. Copyright Office officially designates The Mechanical Licensing Collective, Inc., allowing The MLC to formally begin operations.
Technology company Consensys and mechanical licensing administrator Harry Fox Agency (HFA) received unanimous approval from The MLC Board to become the primary vendors responsible for managing the matching of digital uses to musical works, distributing mechanical royalties and onboarding songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers and their catalogs to the portal.
The MLC and the Digital Licensee Coordinator, Inc. (DLC) reach landmark agreement that helps deliver on promise to songwriters, including $33.5 million in funding for start-up costs to help ensure The MLC can begin operations with the resources necessary to succeed.
The MLC’s Board of Directors announces it has hired Kris Ahrend to serve as its first Chief Executive Officer.
- The MLC provides progress update to Congress.
- The MLC launches its official website located at www.themlc.com.
- The MLC confirms Nashville headquarters.
- The MLC announces first set of leadership hires.
Kris Ahrend provides the first public update on The MLC’s progress in a webinar held during the MusicBiz Conference — the first of more than 250 webinars The MLC will participate in through the end of 2021.
The MLC rolls out its Play Your Part™ initiative which includes two new tools designed to help The MLC fulfill its mission of paying royalties accurately and on time. Both the Data Quality Initiative and the Music Data Organization Worksheet were created to help songwriters and music publishers prepare their data for The MLC Portal.
The MLC holds MLC Week, with more than 1,000 virtual attendees. People attend webinars featuring members of The MLC’s Board and Leadership Team covering topics like The MLC’s creation and purpose, The MLC Portal, The MLC’s commitment to service, and The MLC’s vision for the future. View videos from MLC Week here.
- The MLC launches public access to the musical works ownership database via the Public Work Search and the Bulk Database Feed. Click here to access.
- The MLC provides a progress update to Congressional staffers, informing them that The MLC is ready to launch full operations on January 1, 2021.
The MLC launches full operations and begins administering the new blanket license available to eligible interactive streaming and download services operating in the United States.
The MLC completes its first-ever royalty distribution, paying out more than $24 million in matched royalties to its Members for streaming and download usage by DSPs during January 2021.
The MLC receives the second set of data related to historical unmatched royalties from DSPs — the additional data pertaining to historical unmatched royalties that was not included in the initial transfer in February 2021.
The MLC launches its new Matching Tool for Members.
- The MLC launches the new Public Search API.
- The MLC completes its ninth monthly royalty distribution and closes out the year having distributed more than $280 million in royalties in its first year of operations.
- The MLC distributes the first set of matched historical royalties alongside MLC monthly blanket royalty distributions — a process that will continue monthly moving forward.
- MLC membership surpasses 20,000.
- The MLC releases a new feature for The MLC Portal — an on-demand Catalog Export feature.
- The MLC surpasses $500 million in distributed royalties.
The MLC launches a new Student Ambassador program to complement its existing Educator Ambassador program.
The MLC completes its 21st monthly royalty distribution and closes out the year having distributed nearly $840 million in blanket royalties to date.