Performer Magazine: How to Maximize Your Digital Mechanical Royalties Through The MLC

As an independent artist, you are probably all too familiar with the issues that have long clouded and complicated the process of getting the digital audio mechanical royalties that you are owed for the use of your songs.

It’s also likely that you’ve heard about The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC), the new non-profit organization responsible for administering blanket licenses covering musical works available on U.S.-based digital audio services and distributing the royalties due under those licenses to songwriters, composers, lyricists and other creators. Still, you may have questions about The MLC, exactly how our organization works, and perhaps most importantly, how The MLC can work for you.

First, some background: The MLC was established by the Music Modernization Act of 2018 (MMA), a historic piece of legislation that sought to create a more efficient and effective way for digital service providers (or DSPs) to license the music they make available on their platforms and ensure the proper rightsholders receive the mechanical royalties they are entitled to for the use of their works on those platforms.

Before the MMA, digital mechanical licensing was done largely on a song-by-song basis. But with countless songs on dozens of platforms, it was virtually impossible to obtain licenses for every use of every song, making it almost equally as impossible to deliver royalties to rightsholders accurately and efficiently (or in some cases, pay them out at all).

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