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How Does Unclaimed Revenue Affect the Music Industry?

The music business is a colossal spider’s web of revenue streams flowing from every corner and, as digital’s influence creeps further into every industry process, it’s becoming significantly easier than ever for people to create, use, and monetize from content & music. As a result, tracking royalties & ensuring that they fall into the right hands is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Rights holders can no longer be certain that they’re even aware of every single use of their copyright online, and this was the impetus to launch CoverNet… but more on that later. For now, let's explore the effect that unclaimed royalties have on revenue optimization within music, before offering potential solutions to this significant industry pain point.

Unclaimed royalties adversely affect numerous industry players, such as independent artists and songwriters. As well as the aforementioned lack of comprehension or control in the online music space, various other factors contribute to the emergence of unclaimed royalties, including payment errors & underreported music usage. The repercussions of this are multifaceted & frightening.

Lost Income

We’ll start with the most obvious. By allowing revenue to slip through the cracks through unclaimed royalties, independent artists and songwriters may never see income that is rightfully theirs. For independent artists & songwriters, who already experience struggles earning a full-time living from their craft, this could represent a significant portion of their potential income that they will never even know exists. Even for artists earning a comfortable living, unclaimed royalties can impede them from financing new projects, such as recording new music or embarking on tours. The shortfall in financial resources restricts the ability to invest in creative endeavours.

Even income which eventually falls into the right hands can arrive much later than it should. This may be because the unclaimed royalties haven’t initially been detected; for example, a cover on YouTube may have been earning the creator money for over a year before it was flagged as a potential copyright infringement.

Difficulty in Royalty Tracking

The miscellaneous nature of royalty origins - from streaming to radio, live shows to merchandise - renders tracking challenging for independent artists. Independent artists & songwriters often miss out on mechanical royalties - compensation for the reproduction of their music. These royalties stem from diverse sources, and their oversight contributes to income loss. Ensuring receipt of all entitled royalties becomes a matter of vigorous proverbial plate-spinning which, again, for independent artists & songwriters, is a headache that they can’t afford to have.

Unclaimed Revenue: To Conclude

Addressing the issue of unclaimed royalties is imperative within the music industry. Equipping rights holders with knowledge about royalty collection ensures that they receive the full spectrum of entitled royalties, safeguarding their income and empowering investments in future artistic projects.

In addition, technology needs to be implemented which can effectively track the use of artists’ copyright online, and this is the magic of CoverNet. Scanning all major DSPs and UGC platforms, CoverNet is able to identify every single use of your copyright online with 99.9% accuracy. Unlike any alternative, the platform is able to recognize more elusive copyright infringements, such as unlicensed covers & AI-generated deep fakes, as well as standard 1-to-1 uses of your master, even with modifications in pitch, tempo, instrumentation & more. Results are presented in an intuitive interface, with a detailed reporting grid offering you every single detail of each potential infringement.

The CoverNet Dashboard

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