Dissecting The Digital Dollar

A report from the Music Managers Forum and CMU Insights

‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ is a major report commissioned by the UK’s Music Managers Forum which sets out to explain how digital music services are licensed and to explore the issues the artist and wider music community faces as streaming becomes the single biggest revenue generator for the recorded music industry.

Part One was published in October 2015 and set out to explain in one place how streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are being licensed by the music industry and what happens to digital royalties as they work their way from the streaming services through to artists and songwriters.

It also provided an overview of the copyright law, contractual conventions, collective licensing rules and other music industry practices that influenced how streaming services ended up being licensed, and outlined seven issues that artists and the wider music community now face.

Following the publication of Part One, the MMF staged a series of roundtable discussions involving artists, songwriters, labels, publishers, lawyers, accountants and managers – in the UK, US, Canada and France – to discuss the key themes raised in Part One, and to assess the opinions of managers and their clients, and the wider music community, on each of those issues.

Part Two was published in October 2016 and summarises those roundtables, covering – among other things – how digital income is shared, data, transparency and the debate around safe harbours and YouTube. Off the back of the report, MMF has set out the position of the managers it represents on a number of key topics in the streaming domain.

‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ was researched by CMU Insights and written by CMU’s Chris Cooke.

You can download a free PDF copy of Part One HERE.
You can download a free PDF copy of the Part One Executive Summary HERE.

You can download a free PDF copy of Part Two HERE.
You can download a free PDF copy of the Part Two Executive Summary HERE.


Is there too much secrecy around streaming deals? BBC Newsbeat

Artist managers, artists’ front-line defense, find labels severely lacking Billboard

MMF publishes major report to inform the digital dollar conversation CMU

Explaining the need for Dissecting The Digital Dollar CMU

‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ report shows how ignorant music industry is about streaming income Hypebot

Music managers have no idea where their artists’ digital royalties are, either International Business Times

Music managers dissect digital music dollars: ‘This is to kickstart a debate’ Music Ally

Message: ‘We have to be a little bit suspicious with so much going on behind closed doors’ Music Week

UK managers’ group issues report arguing for more transparency in digital royalties RAIN News

The MMF’s Dissecting the Digital Dollar report is a big piece of work which tackles a wide variety of issues Record Of The Day


Music Managers Forum to launch part two of Digital Dollar report this week CMU

Artist managers formally call for more transparency in streaming as MMF publishes part two of Digital Dollar report CMU

CMU Trends: How do artists know if they’re getting a good deal from streaming? There are too many unknowns CMU

Artist managers call for more transparency around streaming deals M Magazine

Artist managers can help flow of streaming royalties, says MMF M Magazine

Eight things we learned about ‘Dissecting The Digital Dollar’ in music MusicAlly

MMF calls for greater transparency around streaming in part 2 of DDD report Music Week