How Streaming Impacts Data and Rights Management

Streaming has revolutionized the way media gets consumed. Until the early years of the 21st century, physical media held a crucial place in people’s lives. But now, streaming services have taken over – not just over movies, but music as well. Streaming is so widespread that physical media and buying digital files have become a distant memory.

The change in how media is consumed has brought up quite a few questions about how streaming affects data management, rights management, ownership and copyright, and how software services can help an individual or a company navigate these waters.

Streaming: Royalties and Compensation in the Music World

With streaming as the main means of distributing music, there have been many questions regarding the shortcomings that digital media presents. It seems that streaming platforms favor the already privileged in terms of payment or compensation. The right-holders of the music that gets streamed get paid according to the number of views or listens they receive, or what their market share is. Therefore, the popular artists stand to make more while the newcomers are left struggling. While this form of compensation, or “pro rata” as it is called, may seem fair – there are several aspects that also need to be looked at.

With streaming services, it seems that the platform itself keeps 30% of the fees from their subscribers. The rest of the fees ends up divided amongst the right-holders of the recordings of the songs. The right holders of the recordings include the performers, the record label, and the producers; while the rights holders of the song itself are the composers, lyricists, arrangers, and the publishing companies. Since there are numerous parties involved in the production of a song, the share that each of them ends up receiving is minuscule. An independent artist, by contrast, may not have to pay a share to record labels, but will tend to lose out on market share, since they do not have the same resources.

The data provided by streaming services is more of an approximation rather than an exact count – this has led to the widespread belief that the reported number of streams may not be accurate. If the stream numbers are exaggerated, then the artist of that particular song receives more royalties. This is at the cost of other artists, especially the smaller ones, who end up with a smaller share of royalties than what they are owed.

Data and Rights Management

The widespread adaptation of streaming has led to more and more questions about rights management. With streaming bringing about changes in how royalties are distributed, it is important for a company or an individual associated with the music world to understand how their licensing agreements work. Using single-source rights management software can help them navigate these waters.

Using rights management software will allow you to have your licensing agreements with different parties in one place. It will help you create a streamlined system that also helps you assemble your data from different media in one place. A unified system of data and rights management will help you stay on top of things with relative ease.