MusicTeam® optimises music metadata entry and rights management during the creative process and distributes music for independent and emerging artists.

Self-directed learning through technological evolution.

The digital age has democratised access to the distribution and marketing of music. Today, this democratisation of music commercialisation allows independent artists to undertake the distribution of their music freely. 

Thanks to this accessibility to the market, independent creators use self-learning to distribute their musical creations. By expanding their knowledge and skills, artists are taking on the responsibility of performing tasks that have traditionally belonged to music publishing and record company professionals. This emancipation from traditional roles requires artists to improve their current knowledge of the music industry. It is therefore essential that a singer-songwriter understand how to get paid. 

Identification of rights holders and music splits.

In order to be remunerated, a Songwriter-Producer-Performer (SPP) must correctly be identified in the digital chain and confirm the music splits with their co-creators. The identification of rights holders remains a current issue in the music industry. The MLC, a U.S. Mechanical Rights Organisation, has identified several million dollars in unmatched royalties for the digital reproduction of musical works. There are unique identifiers that allow all artists to confirm the identification of rights holders such as IPI, IPN, and ISNI.

Once rights holders are identified, it is best to document the music splits early in the creation process to avoid potential conflicts.  

Recognising the importance of identifying rights holders, MusicTeam® has developed its platform so that its users can document their profile with unique identifiers, which will allow them to be remunerated, music splits as well as all the metadata required when registering and distributing their musical works and sound recordings (master recordings).

Understanding copyright in relation to creative roles.

When sharing music splits with rights holders, it is important to document the roles of each. The main roles that provide remuneration are author, composer, songwriter, music publisher, producer, and main artist to name a few. The identification of the role is paramount, as copyright applies according to the role undertaken and is administered by a different collective organisation. These structures commonly known as PROs (Performing Rights Organisations), CMOs (Collective Management Organisations), and MROs (Mechanical Rights Organisations) are important pillars for remuneration.

On the side of the musical work, SOCAN collects only the Performing Rights and Private Copying royalties for the musical work and represents only the interests of its members who are songwriters and/or publishers. There are also mechanical reproduction rights which are administered and collected by SOCAN DR (SODRAC) or by CMRRA. On the sound recording side, today’s artists must also join a society such as Soproq, CONNECT, ARTISTI, ACTRA RACS, and/or Re:Sound if they are the producer or performer. 

Even though the vast majority of music is created using digital technology and the distinction between a musical work and a sound recording seems obsolete, copyright management is carried out in accordance with the Canadian Copyright Act (CCA) and established music industry practices. Each SPP is responsible for becoming a member of the organisation that collects royalties from the rights associated with the roles they play. 

MusicTeam® supports several roles in its platform, such as author, composer, songwriter, publisher, producer, performer, recording engineer, and musician. These not only allow for the attribution of credits to contributors of creations on distribution platforms but also provide the necessary foundation for copyright royalties.

Musical work and sound recording registrations.

Although an SPP is a member of multiple rights and collective organisations, it must declare all of its musical works and sound recordings so that the organisation can collect the royalties due to it. Without registration, royalties are not paid to the rights holders. 

When registering musical works, music rights organisations such as SOCAN, SOCAN DR (SODRAC), and the CMRRA require the identification of rights holders, their roles, and the music splits. For the declaration of sound recordings, Soproq requires, for example, the identification of the first maker and ARTISTI requires the identification of the main and featured artists. 

It is important to mention that the organisations do not share the same database, which means that an SPP must provide each of them with the same information. In the coming months, MusicTeam® will allow its users who are members of Canadian music rights organisations to submit their registrations of musical works and sound recordings through its platform. This initiative addresses the multiple entries of metadata across all the rights organisation’s portals resulting in the fragmentation of metadata.

Commercialisation and distribution of music.

When an artist submits their music with a distributor to DSPs as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal, Qobuz, etc., the distributor collects only the royalties arising from the reproduction rights on the sound recording. As mentioned above, the artist must join the rights organisations and register their works and sound recordings in order to collect the remaining royalties from the public performance and reproduction rights. 

With MusicTeam®, artists can distribute to over 90 distribution platforms and set up various payouts to rights holders directly into their PayPal account.

Knowledge transfer as an economic vector.

Knowledge is a resource and the transfer of it is a sustainable economic vision that will persist through the constant evolution of digital technology. A tool like MusicTeam®, which allows documenting metadata from the very beginning of the creation process, strongly contributes to the professional success of independent and emerging artists. It is by sharing our knowledge of the codified and technical language of the music industry that we will all succeed in working in a more coherent and inclusive industry of everyone’s roles.

  • Copyright Act Canada – online 
  • MetaMusic – Best practices to enable the discoverability of your music – online