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How to move money "in" from the consumer (via the distributor) and "out" to the creator is not a new challenge for music streaming services.


  • This discussion paper begins by reviewing how CMOs have for over a century responded to the challenge, proceeds to analyse the perennial trade-offs licensors face in allocating and distributing money and concludes with a critique of a recently proposed alternative model.
  • As proprietary technology enables licensors to track the path of net revenue to rights holders (whether labels, performers, creators or their publishers) with unprecedented granularity, there is arguably as a result more efficiency and more equity for all concerned.

Features and Benefits

  • Details the principles of rights distribution for the digital music age.
  • Explores the revenue distributor’s dilemma of equity versus efficiency.

Key questions answered

  • What are the trade-offs between equity and efficiency in the allocation and distribution of license revenue?
  • How are musical works and performances weighted for license payments?

Table of contents

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  • Summary
  • Fundamental differences between CMOs and streaming services
  • The revenue distributor's dilemma: equity vs. efficiency
  • Concluding remarks


  • Authors