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More than 1M modified audio tracks are on DSPs and are diverting revenue away from rightsholders.

New data estimates there are over 1M modified audio tracks on DSPs costing rightsholders revenue. Legacy ACR tech can’t identify these tracks, but Pex can.

At Pex, we have spent years building the best content and music identification technology so rightsholders can be attributed and compensated correctly. One thing our technology has taught us is there will always be creators who use other people’s music without permission. Well intentioned or not, these creators often get paid for works that they don’t own or license, especially when it comes to cover songs, sped up tracks, and other modified audios.

The state of modified audio on DSPs
We specialize in UGC data, and recently analyzed over 20 platforms where we found hundreds of thousands of modified audio tracks, the majority of which we can assume are unlicensed. But UGC sites like YouTube and SoundCloud aren’t the only places creators can distribute their music, so we decided to expand our analysis to include streaming DSPs, like Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and Tidal. 

After extrapolating our UGC data as well as publicly available information on streams, we have the data to show that alarming amounts of modified music is slipping through the cracks. From our analysis, we estimate at least 1% of all songs on DSPs are modified audio. We’re talking more than 1M unlicensed, manipulated songs that are diverting revenue away from rightsholders this very minute. These can generate millions in cumulative revenue for the uploaders instead of the correct rightsholders. Spotify estimates that low popularity tracks currently absorbing just 0.5% of its royalties pool are cumulatively generating $40 million in revenue per year.

Starting now, we plan to publish new data each Wednesday to show how much uncredited modified audio is making it onto DSPs. Check out our latest blog to see five examples of modified songs that we easily identified, and that should have been checked for licenses before making it onto streaming platforms. 

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P.S. If you’re currently using another ACR solution, we’ll happily show you what you’ve been missing.

Read more at Pex’s blog

Bonus: A2IM has partnered with Pex to launch the Pex A2IM Member Affiliate Program! The program offers A2IM members significantly reduced minimums on Pex’s UGC tracking solution, Discovery: Snapshot. Log in to the A2IM Info Hub here to access the special discount link.

About A2IM:
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of more than 700 Independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.

Learn more about A2IM here.
For information about how to join our community, see here.