Building a Better Payment Pipeline, at the RightsTech Summit

These days, a band or artist can record a track in a garage, mix it in a bedroom, and get it onto Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Prime in a matter of days. Yet while the path to market is getting shorter and more direct for musicians and other creators, the path to payment of royalties, residuals and participations is getting longer and more complex, not just for music but for many other types of media as well.

A typical chart-topping song these days could have a dozen or more credited writers, signed to a dozen or more publishers, to say nothing of the producers, session musicians and other who may be entitled to a slice of performance and mechanical royalties that trickle in from dozens of different territories and in dozens of different currencies.

The boom in over-the-top video streaming has created huge new demand for product to stream, leading to a flowering of new financial strategies to fund its production and increasingly complex project P&Ls. Add to that the proliferation of business models, from PVOD to SVOD to AVOD, hitting at different times in different territories, and the complexities compound.

All of which has begun to overwhelm legacy accounts-payable systems built for a simpler time, and is adding urgency to the need for publishers and media companies to update and automate the payments process.

At next week’s online RightsTech Summit (Sept. 14-15), Mike Hurst, the CEO of fintech services provider Exactuals, now owned by City National Bank, a unit of the Royal Bank of Canada, will discuss how automating and integrating payments with rights and royalty management systems can help create a more efficient, transparent and accurate payment pipeline for rights owners, creators and investors.

Joining Hurst in the discussion will be Rory Bernard, CEO of Synchtank, which offers the industry leading music royalty accounting system IRIS, and David Marlin, CEO of MetaComet, whose publishing royalty management platform has been integrated with Exactuals’ payment system. Also joining the discussion will be Helieene Lindvall, chair of the songrwriter committee of the IVORS Academy of Music Creators, who was closely involved in the U.K. Parliament’s recent inquiry into the economics of music streaming, which yielded recommendations for a complete restructuring of the music business.

Tickets for the Summit are still available. Register here

New Rules for Content Identification and Attribution

Another development likely to add to the complexity of payments is the new rules being put in place in various territories for managing copyrighted content on user-upload platforms.

Last week, YouTube announced it would expand creator access to its various copyright management tools as it works to bring its platform into compliance with Articles 15 and 17 of the EU Copyright Directive now being implemented across the continent.

Article 17 requires that major online platforms that accept uploaded content from their users be able to identify and correctly attribute any copyrighted content those posts may contain, and in some cases block them from being uploaded (platforms below a certain size are exempt).

At the RightsTech Summit next week, an international group of media executives and technology developers will discuss how platforms other than YouTube are preparing to comply with the new rules, new approaches to identifying content automatically, how EU governments are implementing the directive, and whether the EU approach will become a model for other territories, including the U.S.

The panel will feature Cristina Perpiñá-Robert Navarro, director of legal affairs at the global authors’ rights society CISAC, Kelly Sumner, chairman of SonicData, developers of the SonicKey audio identification technology, Mathieu Desoubeaux, CEO of visual content identification provider IMATAG, and DDEX Secretariat member Mark Isherwood.

You can register for the Summit here