MLC aims to improve royalty competitive rate with new data network – Billboard

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) has announced its new Affiliate Matching Network, consisting of five companies specializing in data matching. This will enable MLC to increase its match ratio to the current 90%. (According to The MLC, match rate is defined as the percentage of total royalties processed that match the work registered in its database.)

The first five companies added to the affiliate matching network are Blokur, Jaxsta, Pex, Salt and SX Works (a SoundExchange company). The list of companies that are part of the network may continue to grow in the future to improve MLC’s placement process. MLC conducted quality assessments with these vendors before choosing to partner with them, including testing products through pilot programs and „request for convenience.” This is the same process that MLC used for other strategic vendors.

While all five of these vendors provide key data to MLC, the companies don’t mention the most difficult songs to match: those made by DIY, unsigned songwriters, many of whom don’t yet know about The MLC.

„We went through an extensive due diligence process to select the initial set of vendors for our affiliate matching network,” he says Andrew Mitchell, Head of Analytics and Automation at MLC. „These vendors bring complementary technologies and capabilities that can be leveraged effectively to serve our members. This network reflects our ongoing commitment to evolve in innovative ways to better achieve MLC’s mission.

MLC is a nonprofit organization based in Nashville. It was created as part of the Music Modernization Act (MMA), which created a new blanket license for music work engine royalties that greatly simplified the music licensing process for Spotify, Apple Music and many other digital services. It was completed in 2018.

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Previously, the industry operated in a complex and fragmented licensing system for services and the music business, which led to more than $400 million in unallocated streaming royalties due to the inability to trace composers’ owners. (This is known in the business as „black box” money, although MLC uses the term „historically irrelevant royalties”.) MLC was tasked with implementing and managing this new blanket license and distributing the money into this stagnant royalty pool. It officially opened on January 1, 2021.

Learn more about the five new vendors below:


A music data and licensing platform that works with music rights owners and online platforms to connect companies that provide music and online experiences. It is built on data matching and rights identification technology to ensure accurate payment.


Jaxsta is a database of music credits, sourced from the official owners of that record. This includes record labels, distributors, publishers and industry associations. It provides recording matching services for PROs, MROs, CMOs and publishers to help identify recordings for their underlying musical works. They help in collecting payments for mechanical, performance and sync royalties.


Pex specializes in identifying content and improving UGC data copyright compliance. Pex’s Music Recognition Technology (MRT) is designed to recognize a range of works including modified audio, live versions and cover versions, so rights holders can take advantage of all the content they own.


Salt is a digital royalty collection platform that helps music societies align their conflicting music rights and royalty systems across a global network. Salt processing uses, matches ownership and calculates distributions, providing matching and royalty-processing infrastructure to communities.

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SX Works Global Publisher Services

SX Works Global Publisher Services, a SoundExchange company, provides management solutions for music publishers, self-published songwriters and companies who own, represent and/or engage in music to manage their talent across the music landscape. The SX Works team and technology provide partners with access to metadata that allows musical works to be accurately licensed, identified and paid for their use.

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