Frequently Asked Questions

Royalty Payments

The MLC will issue monthly royalty payments and statements approximately 75 days following the end of each calendar month. For example, payments and statements delivered to Members in April 2021 will cover all royalties collected from digital service providers (DSPs) for usage during January 2021.  

Members can view The MLC’s timeline and schedule of royalty payments here.

All royalty statements to MLC Members will be accompanied by a Payee Summary available for download, which will include the Member’s beginning balance, total earnings, amount payable and ending balance.  

Members eligible to receive royalty payments in any given month will be sent an email from The MLC notifying them when their next royalty statement is available, which will be accessible in the Royalties section of a Member’s account in The MLC Portal.  

If you did not receive a notification email, you may not be eligible to receive a payment in that given month if the amount earned is below the minimum payment threshold. You can contact The MLC’s Support Team with any questions regarding royalty payments. 

Self-administered songwriters, composers and lyricists will be paid their royalties directly via the banking information they have submitted to The MLC.  

Songwriters, composers and lyricists who have designated a music publisher, administrator or CMO to collect royalties on their behalf will be paid through those entities. Those individuals should check with their publisher, administrator or CMO directly to confirm the receipt and/or timing of their royalty payments.  

See below for detailed payment options for both U.S.-based and non-U.S.-based MLC Members.  

For Members based in the U.S.: 

  • ACH (U.S. direct deposit) – transfer time is 1-5 business days and requires a $5 minimum in royalty payments to be issued.  
  • Physical (paper) checks* – transfer time is approximately 15 business days depending on the postal service and requires a $100 minimum in royalties to be issued. 
  • Wire transfer – transfer time is 1-5 business days and requires a $250 minimum in royalty payments to be issued. 

For Members based outside the U.S.**: 

  • eCheck (Foreign direct deposit) – transfer time is 1-5 business days and requires a $100 minimum in royalty payments to be issued  
  • Physical (paper) checks* – transfer time is approximately 15 business days depending on the postal service and requires a $100 minimum in royalties to be issued. 
  • Wire transfer – transfer time is 1-5 business days and requires a $250 minimum in royalty payments to be issued. 

* The MLC checks are valid for six (6) months from the date of issuance. If your check is ever damaged, lost or expires, please reach out to The MLC Support team here.  

**Members based outside the U.S. who choose to receive payment in their local currency will be charged a 3% Foreign Exchange (FX) fee.  

 

 

Royalty distributions to MLC Members are currently limited to blanket royalties and do not include any of the historical unmatched royalties The MLC received from DSPs in February 2021. Those DSPs will be sending their remaining historical unmatched data to The MLC by June 15, 2021. At that time, The MLC will combine all of the historical unmatched data it has received, review it and begin the process of matching historical unmatched royalties to the proper rightsholders. As that work continues, The MLC will provide Members with an update on when historical unmatched royalties may be included in a future monthly distribution. For more information on The MLC’s work regarding historical unmatched data and royalties, click here.  

Royalty rates and terms are determined by the U.S. Copyright Office’s Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) through “rate proceedings” that occur every five years. While The MLC is prohibited by law from taking part in those proceedings, representatives of both copyright holders and DSPs do participate.  

The MLC currently applies rates and terms established by the CRB’s Phonorecords II determination pending the outcome of the CRB’s remand proceedings on the Phonorecords III determination. Once the CRB issues its determination after the Phonorecords III remand proceedings (expected sometime in 2021), The MLC will apply the rates and terms in that remand determination and also retroactively adjust previous royalty distributions to the Phonorecords III rates. The Phonorecords II rates and terms can be found in full here. MLC Members will also have access to more specific rate calculations for each DSP within The MLC Portal.