Our everyday online experiences would not be the same without music as a backdrop. Whether it is another dance challenge on a social network, the latest concert on a gaming platform, or a challenging online spin class, these experiences are better with music.

The market is experiencing a convergence of services as platforms strive to capture users’ attention and build a community. In this dynamic online market, we see platforms changing formats from short-form to long-form content, offering experiences such as live-streaming concerts that are beyond their original mission and expanding into new territories as their user base grows. Music use is converging with social media platforms now licensing music while music streaming platforms are enabling UGC uploads.

As a key part of a platform’s offering, a music catalog becomes an important asset and is integral to a platform’s current and future success. There are several steps that will help a company maximize its catalog.

  • First, a platform will want to clear as many tracks as possible.
  • Second, the company will need to monitor music use to identify usage trends and understand what additional music, such as a new genre, it may need.
  • Finally, a platform will need to build strong relationships with rightsholders by consistently meeting contractual obligations.

The mechanics of managing a catalog can be complex. While some platforms keep catalog management in-house, most turn to vendors for assistance.


Key Hiring Decisions: Identification, Fulfillment and Rights Administration

Once a platform obtains licenses, whether for user-generated content, fitness, gaming or music listening, the next critical phase is to hire one or more vendors to enable the mechanics of the licenses, and power the music experience for the end-user. This includes the identification of songs to know which tracks are allowed or not in UGC uploads (Identification); the delivery of cleared, licensed music to the end-users (Fulfillment); and the tracking, reporting and royalty payments for use of licensed music (Rights Administration).

Hiring these vendors is a crucial step that can impact:

  • The breadth of music available
  • Building trust with labels, publishers and CMOs, especially timely and accurate royalty payments
  • Quickly expanding territories coverage for the service
  • Ensuring new releases are quickly cleared and available


The Advantage of a Single-Vendor Solution for Fulfillment and Rights Administration

Platforms often use multiple vendors. This solution can work. However, there is an advantage to using a single vendor with established relationships that is responsible for both receiving and reconciling multiple data streams from unrelated data sources including labels, publishers, PROs, and CMOs; and traversing the complexities of tracking, reporting and payments.

For UGC-hosting platforms, having an identification vendor along with fulfillment and rights administration in one vendor adds to the ease of managing data, reconciliation, reporting, and payment.

If there are issues clearing tracks, site owners will avoid having to coordinate between multiple vendors to find a resolution. A delay or lack of resolution may result in fewer tracks being available to end-users and the challenge of reconciliation and clearance only increases as a platform’s catalog grows and expands into new territories.


Insights into the Catalog

A strong vendor will also provide insights into the constant changes that happen with a catalog at the operational delivery and the business level, including new songs, restricted artists, and territory changes. Offering additional insights like providing a list of new releases that are relevant to the platform’s end users.

Finally, an experienced rights administrator will produce accurate and timely reporting to meet each rightsholder’s requirements across multiple territories and parties. This solidifies a positive working relationship between rightsholders and the platform and sets the stage for future licensing opportunities.


Audible Magic Offers a Suite of Integrated Services to Manage Music

  • Licensing Support – Understand what is cleared and not cleared
  • Fulfillment – Deliver cleared music to your platform now
  • Content Identification – ID and track music on your platform
  • Royalty Administration and Payment – Report royalties and pay labels, publishers, CMOs and PROs

Contact us to learn more about how we offer a single vendor solution for managing music on music-hosting platforms.