As you dive in you may have questions. We have answers.
Today song credits are powered by metadata provided to us by labels and distributors. The best way today to report and remedy incorrect songwriter attribution is to contact the distributor or label responsible for delivering a particular recording to Spotify. Once they update the copy, then a redelivery of the metadata will take place and be updated across the live Spotify platform.
We would like to incorporate additional information directly from publishers, societies, and songwriters over time.
Any user or company can create a Spotify account here via our desktop app. You can brand it with your name and use a logo or company ID as your profile picture. By creating a company profile, you create a home for your company on Spotify; allowing you to create publisher playlists to promote your songwriters’ works and more.
A publisher represents the interests of the songwriter(s), while the label represents the interests of the performing artist. In many cases, both the songwriter and the artist may be the same person or persons, but they will still have separate publishers and labels, as they deal with different revenue streams. Each works on behalf of the creator they represent to help grow their careers.
In the United States, there are Performing Rights Organizations (also called PROs) that represent publishers and songwriters for performance licenses and royalty payments. These PROs are essentially the same as Collecting Societies in other countries, except that they do not administer mechanical licenses or mechanical royalty payments. Examples of these PROs in the US include ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and GMR.
A Collecting Society, also known as a Collective Management Organisation (CMO), is a collective agency that represents copyright owners (e.g. publishers and songwriters), and often deals with both performing and mechanical royalties. They exist to promote their member’s works, and administer, collect, and pay out royalties for performing and mechanical licenses for their members. Examples of these Societies include PRS for Music in the UK, SACEM in France, ABRAMUS in Brazil, ZAiKS in Poland, and JASRAC in Japan.
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (“MLC”) is a nonprofit entity that administers the new blanket licensing system established by the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) as of January 1, 2021. The MLC receives notices and reports from digital music providers, collects and distributes royalties, and identifies musical works and their owners for payment.
You can learn how to register your compositions and learn more about the MLC by visiting their website at https://www.themlc.com/.
In the United States, there are several mechanical licensing agencies, including the Harry Fox Agency and Music Reports. Spotify worked with the Harry Fox Agency (HFA) to administer our mechanical licenses and mechanical royalties in the United States before The MLC went into effect on January 1, 2021.
When a song is streamed on Spotify, both performing and mechanical royalties are generated, so you need to ensure that you have a way of collecting both types of revenue streams. The % split between what is a performing or mechanical royalty in a stream varies from country to country.
A performing royalty is the royalty paid to the owner of a musical composition in exchange for the performance license.
A mechanical royalty is the royalty paid to the owner of a musical composition in exchange for the mechanical license.
A performance license is a license obtained for music to be played in a public setting. This can include terrestrial radio, TV, music played at a nightclub or a restaurant, or a stream.
A mechanical license grants another party, such as a digital music service, the right to reproduce and distribute a copyrighted musical composition.
In most countries, the Society administers both mechanical and performance licenses and pays out the royalties to publishers and songwriters for both. However, this is not true for all countries. Most notably, the United States has separate agencies for performance licenses and mechanicals. Following the passage of the Music Modernization Act in the US, mechanical licenses will be administered by a new agency called the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) starting in 2021.
These organizations help you receive royalties from many revenue sources. Keeping your data up to date with them will help you be paid accurately and timely.
You can now submit your publishing data directly to Spotify using our custom data template. Any submissions sent directly to Spotify should be made in addition to data submissions to all the entities that report royalties directly to you.
Download a copy of our template here.
When you have finished entering your data into the template, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and attach your completed template, along with your name, the name of your publishing company, and your contact information. Please note the fields with * are required fields. The second tab, named “instructions”, has descriptions of each field and details the requirements.
If you have any questions about submitting your data, you can email us at email@example.com.