The MLC Process

Starting in January 2021, The MLC will issue and administer blanket mechanical licenses for eligible streaming and download services (digital service providers or DSPs) in the United States. The MLC will then collect the royalties due under those licenses from the DSPs and pay songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers. The MLC is committed to performing this important responsibility effectively and transparently. The slides below provide an overview of how The MLC process will work.

The MLC Process

The First Cut

The MLC has acquired an initial data set from HFA. The MLC will enhance and supplement that data on an ongoing basis with support from HFA.

Connect to Collect™

All music publishers and self-administered songwriters, composers, and lyricists will need to register with The MLC in order to access their data via The MLC Portal and receive payments from The MLC. This is how you Connect to Collect™.

Play Your Part™

The MLC launched two initiatives to help you “Play Your Part” before the The MLC Portal roll-out. By participating in The MLC’s Data Quality Initiative (DQI) or using the Music Data Organization Form, you can “Play Your Part” in helping The MLC fulfill its important mission of paying royalties accurately and expediently for your benefit. Once the portal rolls out later this year and you have access to and have registered for The MLC Portal, you can enter your data, check your data for accuracy and completeness, register your new musical works and identify new sound recordings that feature your works. These are all ways that you can “Play Your Part.”

Learn how to Play Your Part

DSPs Stream Your Song

When Digital Service Providers that operate under a blanket license from The MLC make recordings and works available on their services to be streamed or downloaded, they will be required to send us monthly usage data files and the corresponding royalties (calculated at the statutory rates).

Making the Mix

The MLC will strive to link the musical works data in The MLC’s data with the usage data it receives from DSPs for digital audio products that were streamed or downloaded from their services and then compute the royalties due for each work.

The Pay Out

Once we compute how much each work has earned, we will pay music publishers and self-administered songwriters their digital mechanical licensing royalties. Remember, it is critical that you Connect to Collect™ to get paid.

Commitment to Transparency

The MLC is committed to transparency. The MLC will make data on unclaimed works and unmatched uses available to be searched by registered users of The MLC Portal and the public at large. Registered users will also be able to submit claims for unmatched activity that they believe relates to their musical works via The MLC Portal. The MLC will continue to reprocess unmatched activity regularly, using any new data and claims we receive. Our goal is to match as much activity as possible.