We completed our second monthly royalty distribution of the year on Monday, February 13, bringing us to 23 total royalty distributions since we began full operations. February's distribution primarily covered newly reported usage that took place in November of 2022. The total of all royalty pools reported to The MLC for this cycle was approximately $61.5 million. Once again, we were able to match nearly 85 percent of that amount to songs currently registered in our database.

After deducting royalties for usage covered by voluntary licenses maintained by DSPs with rightsholders, we collected approximately $58.6 million in royalties and distributed over $42.9 million to our Members. 

The remaining royalties pending distribution break down as follows:

  • $9.3 million in royalties for uses we have not been able to match to registered works;
  • $5.4 million in royalties for shares of matched works that have not yet been registered (or claimed) by our Members; and 
  • $1.0 million in matched royalties that are on hold.

In addition, The MLC also distributed another $4.8 million in blanket royalties from previously unmatched or unclaimed uses that we were able to match, through reprocessing, to data submitted to us after we completed the initial distribution cycle for that usage.

This month, we distributed approximately $66.7k in newly matched historical royalties. These royalties arose solely from our reprocessing of the data for pre-Phono 3 usages that we previously processed for the first time last year. All of this was usage for which DSPs had previously not paid out any royalties. Next month, we expect to begin processing the pre-Phono 3 usage for which DSPs previously paid out some royalties — our second pass at processing these historical unmatched royalties.

As always, the matched historical royalties we distribute are clearly identified on the royalty statements we provide to Members, and we specify the usage month for these historical royalties just like we already do for blanket royalties.

To catch up on the progress we’ve shared about historical unmatched royalties so far, you can find all the updates here.

The Next Set of Unmatched Data is Now Available in The MLC Portal

As you know, when we began distributing matched historical royalties last Spring, we also began making the remaining historical unmatched royalty data available to be searched by our Members in our Matching Tool. To help you understand which type of unmatched data you were seeing in your search results, we added an “H” icon to indicate that your search returned historical unmatched usage that took place before January 1, 2021, and a “B” icon to indicate that your search returned blanket unmatched usage that took place on or after January 1, 2021 (the date the blanket license The MLC administers became effective).

We have now largely completed our initial review of the historical unmatched data, with only a few remaining files from Spotify left to process. (As we’ve previously shared, working through the Spotify data has taken several months because the size of their data files is so large.) This month, we have added the remaining unmatched data from Spotify for usage that took place in the first half of 2019. Next month, we expect to be able to add the remaining unmatched for both the second half of 2019 and the first half of 2020. In April, we expect to add the remaining unmatched from the second half of 2020, which will complete the process of making the remaining unmatched data from Spotify available to be searched. Once that happens, the remaining unmatched historical data from all but one of the DSPs that transferred historical unmatched royalties to us will be available when you perform searches using the Matching Tool. (The final DSP is FanLabel; their data contained significant issues that FanLabel has not been able to rectify.)