The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)(opens in a new tab) has completed its first-ever monthly distribution of mechanical royalties, which is a result of the new blanket license established by the Music Modernization Act of 2018 (MMA). The ball got rolling in February 2021 when digital service providers (DSPs) began reporting their streaming and download usage numbers for the previous month to the Mechanical Licensing Collective.
The organization’s first calculation of royalties, which totaled more than $53 million(opens in a new tab), includes royalties distributed to MLC creator members and rights holders, funds that have been matched to the appropriate musical work but remained unclaimed, and unmatched money. After accounting for $13 million in matched royalties covered by preexisting voluntary licensing agreements, the MLC collected $40 million in direct payments on behalf of registered songwriters and composers in January 2021, and disbursed $24 million to members. Of the $16.4 million in remaining collected funds, $11 million are unmatched funds, and $4.9 million are matched but unclaimed. The remaining $500,000 are on legal hold.